It amazes me how the debate continues of whether Systems and Processes of a business are important or not. Many business owners will even agree they are important, yet their actions show otherwise. If you truly believe they are critical to your business, and they are, then why aren't they documented? Why aren't they reviewed consistently for continuous improvement? Why do costly errors still occur because people aren't following the processes? Why do you choose to live in chaos and overwhelm day in and day out when you don't have to?
The first explanation is the fact that it takes time and energy to document your processes. The excuse given often is 'we just do not have time'. I agree it does take energy and time to document your processes. However, I submit to you that the wasted time and energy spent man handling the process, the mistakes and the energy spent on cleaning up the dissatisfied customers and the inefficiencies that exist are costing you a lot more time and money than the investment in the documentation process.
Second, many businesses do not know where to begin or how to get the documentation completed. The steps are as follows:
1. Write down the step by step path to complete the process. Do not skip anything. Just simply write down each and every step as the process is currently being done. Ask the person or persons performing the process to write them down as they do them.
2. Use a document control template (we can provide that for you if needed) to document each process consistently. Using the same format for each process makes it easier for each employee in the company to become familiar with and read each process.
3. Capture the processes in a digital or physical (we recommend digital) location such as a common drive on your server, a cloud based solution such as google drive or a physical notebook or notebooks. They need to be accessible to all employees as needed, so they can reference at any time.
4. Use the document control process to keep the processes and subsequent changes identified. This supports the continual improvement efforts and ensures the latest version of the process is the only one available.
5. Set a regular interval to review all processes for accuracy and continual improvement opportunities.
The benefits of having your processes documented are powerful. When your processes are documented, you in effect have created the Operating System for the business. This is important and is useful for several reasons:
As you can see, documented Systems and Processes are critical. They must be a high priority for you and your business is you want to grow, scale and if you may want to eventually sell. They are what helps calm the chaos and reduce the overwhelm. Believe me when I tell you...it is worth it!
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