What NOT to Do When Designing Your Business Processes

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝘁𝗼 𝗗𝗼 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀
𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘦𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬. 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯. 𝘮𝘫𝘳
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your business has a clearly defined process. You have a way of doing things that varies very little. It’s really important for your business to define these processes in order to be more efficient and to scale up when the time comes.
Documenting your processes basically involves creating materials showing how they’re done from beginning to end. It’s fairly simple and straightforward, but there are a few pitfalls to watch out for.
𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀
The key to good business processes is that they’re simple. Shorter processes are easier to manage and carry out, as well as easier to update. You should make sure that every step and detail is there, but don’t bog it down.
If your documentation is wordy, look for place to cut. Take out any details that aren’t directly related to the end goal. Put yourself in the shoes of the person learning the task. What do they need to know and what is not essential to completing the task?
𝗧𝗼𝗼 𝗠𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗝𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗼𝗻
Your employees may be well versed in the jargon of your industry, but try to cut down as much as possible on technical terms. Define each technical term somewhere in your employee materials just in case. A one-page document with the terms tends to be very helpful.
Write in a conversational tone and don’t make it formal. Casual language is easier to understand. Write for clarity above all else.
𝗡𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝘅𝘁
Your process documentation should stick to only what the person needs to know, but it should also include some context. The person learning the task needs to understand how it fits into your overall business.
They need to know the goal of the task. If they know the end goal and context, they can make the right decision when faced with a problem while carrying out the task.
𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲
Write in a positive way, telling the employee what to do when performing the task. Don’t tell them what NOT to do. Instructions framed in the negative can be confusing. When the wording is positive, it’s clear to the reader what they need to do.
You may have something like a warning as part of a task, telling the person to avoid doing a certain thing, but the wording overall should be positive.
𝗡𝗼 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻
Try to write your processes so that the person performing the task doesn’t have to rely on a supervisor or other staff member. In some cases, this is impossible.
A task may require technical expertise or knowledge that the person performing it doesn’t have. But in general, each process should be written in such a way that the person can do it by themselves.
If you avoid the above mistakes, you’ll have business process documentation that’s clear and easy for any member of your staff to carry out.
𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙮 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙚𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠.

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