Have you ever felt unsure what you were doing or why, or thought there may be a better way to do something?

Having documented processes offers a number of advantages – firstly it gives you a benchmark for how things are done now, so you can look to improve that process and become more efficient over time. The second main advantage is another team member should be able to pick up where you left off if you’re away, to provide the same outcome and level of service to your customers.

Through documentation, it’s easier to avoid confusion and it’s also a tool which you can use to make staff training easier.

Ways to prepare process documentation

The words ‘process’ and ‘documentation’ on face value could be rather boring. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a couple of ways to document your process.

Checklist

Well, this might be boring but it’s arguably the easiest to do. Having a checklist of the steps that you need done is an efficient way to ensure you are doing what’s necessary for a particular activity. Here’s a checklist example.

Business Procedure Name Here:

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
    • * Double check something here (maybe a software, an invoice, any proof)
  • Step 3

Flowcharts for Illustration

Illustration gives you a visual reference of the entire procedure. Using ‘balloons’ and arrows, you can lay out the steps and what you should arrive to next in the procedure. An example below:

Flowchart Business Process Documentation

Icons and graphics

If you are more creative and have the means to produce one, using icons can make things easier and faster for visually minded staff to follow. Having recognisable icons eliminates the need to read through the entire procedure.

If you are writing out procedures, keep them short, snappy and straight to the point

There are some who really want to specify and write processes out and there’s nothing wrong with that. But always keep them as short and straight to the point as possible. It will make things easier for everybody.

Test, test, test… Once you have all your procedures documented, test it out amongst your staff or even yourself. You can even have variations and see which one works best.

And then refine the process every so often. Process improvement should be a continual task where each department reviews their processes. Technology can often make things more efficient, so reviewing new programs, apps and processes is a good place to start when reviewing the efficiency of your systems.

For questions on how business processes can be implemented to your business, contact our advisors today. You can call us on (07) 5413-9300 or book a no-cost consultation here.

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Wayne Patten

About the author

As Partner and Director at PJT Accountants & Business Advisors, Wayne runs the Hotels Division which specialises in providing advisory services, accounting and cashflow management to the Hotels Industry. Having been a hotelier for many years himself, Wayne and his team of specialists are acutely aware of the needs of this industry and can offer real world advice to quickly improve business performance. Connect with Wayne on LinkedIn

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