Many business owners have a tendency to ignore the need for correctly documenting all the steps to implementation of BPA. This is especially evident in small businesses with limited numbers of employees who are involved in multiple tasks.
Creating process documentation is beneficial in improving efficiency and empowering management to better deal with demands from customers, staff and other stakeholders. It is clearly evident that process documentation is critical to achieving long term strategies. If it’s not in writing it never happened!!
Defining Process Documentation
The documentation should clearly detail the steps undertaken from beginning to end of a process and how it will be executed. Ideally, it should also be supported by a flow chart to add a visual aspect that can be easily understood and followed by all interested parties.
Benefits of Correct Process Documentation
An organisation that does not have a set of documented standard practice instructions is one that will allow repeated mistakes to be made, inefficient business practices to take place all at a significant cost to the business.
In summary, some of the benefits are as follows:
- Creates consistent practices and minimises mistakes
- Allows for easier and better training of employees
- Establishes a culture of employee ownership as they can solve problems through correct documentation
- Minimises risks through meeting compliance regulations while minimising any potential costs of non-compliance
- Increases efficiency resulting in increased profitability
- Establishes a knowledge base so no loss occurs with employee turnover
Whilst the task of starting the documentation process may seem daunting there are many tools available to simplify the process. These can range from the basic such as Microsoft word to Smartdraw, Netdocuments, Binder, Kissflow and many others that will assist in the process. If management does not have the time or expertise to assess these products for their viability then an external adviser should be appointed to oversea the process.
With the continual evolution of business software unless you are prepared and have your processes documented you are open to inefficient and disruptive operations that will negatively impact your business.