Process. Process. Process. As a business owner, you will say this word often. But, you’ll also have to use it in action. Whether you operate a small business without employees or a larger company with just a few, writing down your most essential procedures will prove to be beneficial. Having a documented, formal process makes it easier to maintain standards, consistency, goals, and productive outcomes.
Here are five easy ways to create a productive process for your business.
1. Start with the big picture, then break it- down into chunks. An effective way to document a business process is first to show how it fits into the organization’s overall vision. Next, create a flowchart depicting its essential steps. Lastly, document the tasks required of each step, supporting each task with specific, to-the-point details. Note: Separate your process documentation into as-needed sections. By doing this, anyone seeking to learn the process can quickly see what needs to be accomplished first.
2. Provide background and explanations. All documentation for the business should explain why a particular process is essential and what each step requires.
3. Build checklists. Include short, simple checklists in your process documentation. This prompts yourself and others to complete the required steps in the correct order.
Note: If a checklist requires more than two dozen items, break it into two or shorter lists.
4. Replace words with images. Engaging graphics are often more readily recognized and understood better than written instructions. Photos and infographics that illustrate how to perform each step are often helpful.
5. Receive feedback. Business owners often believe they know their business processes the best. But feedback from other business owners who consistently implement and execute processes often share what they have learned, time-saving shortcuts, and differing performance standards that apply to separate parts of the process. Ask fellow business owners/ entrepreneurs for feedback on early drafts of your process documentation.
Have you recently started or successfully mapped a Business Process Blueprint?