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Let's Write it Down! (uggghhhh)

Many companies expect their people are documenting processes while they’re executing them. That’s just wishful thinking. More than likely, the processes are in the employees’ heads. They do what they’re supposed to do because they know how to do it.

There are two critical reasons for needing process documentation: 1) the company has hired someone to fill a sudden vacancy and that new person needs to be trained; 2) the company is planning to implement new software and needs to know how to do their work in the new system.

In many firms, new software comes around only every few decades. I worked for a company that maintained a proprietary IT system with new software tools, applications, and updates coming out almost weekly. Even in that dynamic environment, the training team would have to ask users, “How do you currently do this?”

That’s how I know that process documentation is 1) never done and 2) a time-consuming undertaking.

“Sure, ignore your customers and write down how to do your job,” said no sales manager ever.

Most of the processes my former employer’s sales floor used were designed for accessibility and velocity (whatever was easy and fast). Many times, the process would subvert bottlenecks or modify and repurpose tools not intended for that use. These are called “workarounds” and every business has them. Even yours.

In that environment, our team built training that compared the old process to the new one before demonstrating how the new application would replace the old one. Our slide deck became the new process documentation.

When pressed, a business leader will say that documentation requires time better spent serving customers. It’s a good idea to keep your people on task. CRC believes your resources should stay engaged in customer-facing, customer-serving capacities. That’s why we offer to do the documentation for them.

It’s daunting to start at zero documentation and try to work through everything your business does.

Let CRC build a plan that prioritizes processes, captures knowledge in small, low-impact interactions, and builds the resource library you know you need.

Maintaining accurate and usable operational standards can save your company in a thousand ways. Here are five:

  1. Prevent mistakes by standardizing a process.

  2. Train new-hires and advancing employees to take on new responsibilities.

  3. Demonstrate for potential investors your company’s expertise.

  4. Track tools and personnel for overlap and dormancy.

  5. Adopt best practices across the company.

Documenting processes is boring, or so we’re told. We like getting to know your company and telling your story. We think The Way You Do Things is just as important as What You Do. During our investigation, we might find ways to save your company money by eliminating bottlenecks, redundancies, or dormant programs.

Documenting processes will provide you with visibility to the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and dedication your people are applying every day to the work they do for you.

Let’s get started with a low-impact, high-results project. Call us at 803-569-8200.

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