Gaining control over company processes and procedures through documentation is incredibly powerful. Standardized operating instructions remove the chaos. I could preach to you about how crucial process documentation is for your company, but I won’t. Instead, I am going to highlight four of the biggest roadblocks facing you, the decision-maker, when it comes to mapping out and vital processes.
You Don’t See Any Value in It
The difference between a dynamic company and a dinosaur is most often the lack of processes documentation. The former will be able to recruit, train, and delegate tasks, the latter will constantly be plagued by a top-heavy leadership structure on the verge of burn-out. Companies that are experiencing rapid growth or a mass exodus often recognize the need for process documentations too late. A sound set of documented policies and procedures will decrease new hire learning curves, continuously improve, and pass the bus test. Plenty of value right there.
You Have No F*#@ing Clue Where to Start
My advice? Solve one problem at a time. Target that one bottleneck that drives you crazy and ignore the rest…at least for now. Typically, the first process you document is also the most valuable. If you try to map everything at once you will get frustrated, overwhelmed, and abandon the idea altogether. Choose a main process to map, gain successes, the slowly make process documentation a habit.
HowFactory isn’t immune to this roadblock. For us, it’s software testing. After months of frustration, we finally sat the team down and spent 20 mins analyzing our software testing process. Then, we deconstructed it into simple steps, recorded each activity, and resolved to move forward with an emphasis on identifying and documenting any gaps. The team went away feeling empowered, there was an organic shift in mindset, and it took a total of three hours. Which leads me to my next roadblock…
It Will Drain Resources and Productivity
Most business owners I work with assume they must hire or designate one person to lead and manage processes documentation efforts. Not so, my friends! Processes and procedures are essential for all players in a business. Spending too many resources on process and policy documentation is overkill. Make it a slow, but sure, team effort. There is no need to begin with some large-scale study – jump in and automate the basics. I would argue that a company loses far more productivity and human talent when inefficiently training new hires. Addressing inefficient processes will more than likely produce a positive ROI.
Consultants Make It Sound Difficult
The guy in the 3-piece suit keeps talking about Inputs, outputs, flowcharts, flipcharts, and something about a swimming lane – you feel officially helpless. How the heck will you find all of this data? It’s not as difficult as you think.
One of our new clients is in the mortgage business. We set them up with some screen capture software and turned a group of loan specialists loose with it. We asked them to simply turn on the software and work through a process like they normally would. Voila! Data. The finished screen captures were then transcribed and put into the HowFactory application. Creating a dynamic set of instructions isn’t as difficult as you might think.
We’ve discovered there is a lot of room for automation in the world of processes and procedure documentation, in fact, we’ve built the HowFactory mobile app to address the issue. So while we totally empathize with the reasons holding you back from documenting your Processes and procedures, we also want you to know that gritting your teeth and making the investment pays off. Standard operating procedures don’t have to be painful, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a 30-minute no-obligation consultation and we’ll show you what we mean.