Do You Really Need Process Documentation?
April 10th, 2019 • BPM
Entrepreneurs sometimes push process documentation to the side, especially when their emerging business runs on a limited number of staff members who juggle multiple hats. Lack of time and awareness holds many companies back from managing processes efficiently.
Business leaders may not realize that process documentation leads to improved efficiency and empowers them to meet customer’s needs effectively. When customers can find better service elsewhere, your business is at risk. There’s no way around it—process documentation is crucial to long-term survival and growth.
What is process documentation?
Process documentation is an essential discipline of business process management that involves recording a detailed outline of process steps from beginning to end to show how a process is executed. Commonly mapped in a flowchart, it provides a clear, top-down perspective for employees and managers to visualize and understand process workflows.
What is the goal of process documentation?
The goal of process documentation is similar to that of business process management. It improves business performance and operational agility by optimizing core processes. Documenting processes during execution enables employees to learn by doing, gleaning insight from both mistakes and successes to refine processes.
What are the benefits of process documentation?
Regardless of an organization’s size or purpose, process documentation is important. Even if it’s a one-man show, looking to the future when processes and employees will be multiplied is paramount. The lack of documented, standard procedures leads to repeated mistakes and continuing inefficiencies at significant costs to your business.
- Consistency – Mistakes are reduced and less time is spent reinventing the wheel.
- Reduce operational costs – Through process documentation, inefficient processes are uncovered and revamped, and repetitive processes are automated to maximize efficiency.
- Mitigate risk – The ability to prove that operations meet compliance regulations reduces the costly risk of noncompliance.
- Heighten employee engagement – As employees document processes and tackle problems, they begin to take ownership.
- Simplify training – Process documentation should yield a user-friendly guide for employees down the road.
- Stress-free outsourcing – When processes are well-defined, it’s easy to bring on remote workers without sacrificing consistency.
- Retain process knowledge – Process knowledge is not lost in the face of unexpected employee absences or turnover.
- Patents and trade secrets – Both require process documentation for filing and defense.
What are some process documentation tools?
If the thought of beginning process documentation is daunting, don’t worry, there are plenty of process documentation tools available. The most basic process documentation tool is Microsoft Word, but its clunkiness and sharing capabilities aren’t ideal. Web-based tools make for much simpler collaboration and editing.
You’ll find most process documentation tools can be used for a multitude of organizational tasks, so look for one that meets your specific business needs to get the best value proposition.
Designed for any-size business, Lucidchart is a flowchart platform that offers a comprehensive range of features and integrates nicely with popular applications. Users with limited technical know-how can create attractive, professional diagrams and fully utilize its extensive functionalities intuitively.
Similar to Lucidchart, SmartDraw is a diagramming software with plenty of templates to help you get started. Because it integrates with a host of apps, chart sharing and collaboration are easily achievable. SmartDraw is known for its user-friendliness and affordable price.
If you are looking for a comprehensive document collaboration solution, Bit.ai combines an endless number of tools on a sleek, modern platform. Rich media can be embedded with its documents for an extra layer of context.
How can Kissflow support process documentation?
Kissflow is a business process management software for turning workflows into automated actions. Instead of mapping a process in a standalone process documentation tool, repetitive process workflows are simultaneously mapped and automated in Kissflow.
It’s no-code, simple design empowers citizen developers to collect necessary process information in a form. Through a drag-and-drop interface, the workflow is charted, including all steps and stakeholders. Integration and conditions are added, notifications and reminders are set, a trial run is performed, and automation begins.
Process steps travel in sequence according to the charted workflow. Manual document routing and other tedious tasks are eliminated. For example, rather than physically creating file and folders in Google Drive, it is done automatically when a new form is completed.
Real-time analytics let stakeholders know how processes are doing. KPIs, SLAs, and other performance metrics are consistently monitored. Weak areas are improved, strong areas are capitalized, and performance is optimized.
Kissflow provides a centralized platform to define and track workflow. Workers can post clarity or rework requests, comments, and shared documents directly in the workflow. The number of apps and users can easily be scaled up or down according to business needs.
Face the Facts
If your business isn’t already suffering from chaotic operations, it’s only a matter of time before process complexity increases and disarray sets in. Process documentation is vital to maintaining a healthy, productive business. Getting a firm handle on your core processes early on can facilitate explosive growth while sustaining excellent service delivery. Select a suitable process documentation tool and get started today!