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Why do people document their processes?
This article is part of our Process 101 guide.
People document processes because it’s the biggest problem in their business.
Process is the blueprint for your organisation, dictating how it operates and where the lines of responsibility and accountability lie. But the trouble with process is that it’s invisible. And this means it’s hard to see where things are going wrong, and therefore the reason(s) why your business is in ‘pain’.
What does your customer onboarding process look like?
Open up a blank page on your laptop now, and spend five minutes to write your customer onboarding process down, step-by-step.
It feels good, right? Now imagine you’ve saved it to your intranet, or sent a whole company email to share it with your colleagues. That’s an even sweeter feeling; all that wonderful knowledge, previously locked away in your head is now set free and there for the world to see.
That’s why people document their processes.
What other reasons are there?
Further reasons for mapping out your processes:
- It gets knowledge out of people’s heads, where it’s not of value to your business, only to your people
- It crowd sources knowledge – you can capture the best ideas and practices so your processes are the best they can be
- You get a real picture of what actually is happening in the business or your team
- Speed up training for employees, as what they need to know is all documented. The training is self-serve too, which links to empowerment and feeling good at your job
- Your business has a better standard of service due to consistency brought about through using a common process
- It removes confusion and conflict, creating equality and impartiality. There’s transparency over how things are done e.g. promotions
- Compliance and risk reductions. Show authorities and your customers that you’re taking the best measures to stay compliant.
But just documenting process isn’t enough
Sure, writing your process down might make you feel better but it doesn’t make things change.
It might make you more scalable but it adds no real value, because it doesn’t make the staff performing your processes do things differently/better.
In the best-case scenario, the document gives you a stick to beat people with if things go wrong; and worst-case, it’s placed in a file share where processes go to die.
But what if your process couldn’t be ignored?
Imagine you paint your customer onboarding process on the office wall, in huge red letters that are visible from the car park. It’s so in your face that it can’t be ignored. People see it everyday. It becomes part of business-as-usual: walk to the kitchen, make a coffee, stare at the process on the wall while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
It’s effective because everyone now sees the process.
They know every step.
Someone might even question whether step 2 should be to changed to ‘send a welcome gift package’, rather than a simple message.
The process is starting to improve.
Then a new employee joins – it’s day 1 and they know your customer onboarding process…
We’re not suggesting you start scribbling all over the office, but for processes to run effectively, and stop your business from feeling any pain, they need visibility. And this is exactly what Process Bliss does.
How Process Bliss makes process visible
It documents the process templates within each department of your organisation.
By containing all the information people need to perform the process, it makes them useful, which gives them the greatest chance of becoming business-as-usual.
It extends beyond merely documenting your processes. By creating processes from a central template, the steps within the process automatically fall onto an individual task list.
You can then see every instance that a process has been created from the template, which is great for auditing/compliance purposes.
And by collecting feedback on why steps couldn’t be completed, or where people feel the process could be updated, you can see how to continuously improve.