Process Documentation

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Incomplete documentation? Risky business move.

Process documentation often falls to the bottom of an organization’s to-do list, but that often comes with considerable risk. What would happen if a critical step or insight gained through years of trial and error suddenly disappeared? Unfortunately, that’s not as far-fetched as it seems for many reasons:

Key Man Risk

This is when a single person becomes the lynchpin for a critical process within your organization; if they leave, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who can replace them. 

Tribal Knowledge

Tribal knowledge is the best practices and protocols that everyone knows, but no one has written down. Usually, this is commonly present alongside a Key Man Risk, but it can also appear in isolation. Tribal knowledge creates risk and limits scalability.  

Limited Bandwidth

You have a large agenda of possible projects to work on, but you’re too busy serving your customers, growing, and keeping the lights on to focus on them all. This is how critical items are missed entirely – especially when they can be seen as something you can do later.  

Lack of Stakeholder Alignment & Visibility

Documenting a process allows everyone to understand how a specific workflow should operate by laying out clear steps everyone can reference.

Awareness of Potential Compliance Risks

Clearly documenting each step of a process allows business leaders to carefully evaluate and remediate any compliance risks within the organization. 

Data Fidelity & Accessibility

Clearly documenting how data is collected, managed, and stored allows organizations to easily verify the quality of their data so they can easily decide on the best course of action. 

Process documentation can mitigate these risks through clear directions that are much easier for current and future employees to follow. In addition, you’ll likely find operational improvements such as: 

The risks and benefits are clear, but most don’t know where to start. Furthermore, a lack of bandwidth usually leads to it not getting done. Even if your team frees up time internally, inherent knowledge and bias leads to assumptions in the documentation. This is where Hammer Dev’s team of Business Analysts come in.  

How to Get this Journey Started 

Our expert team not only frees up your time, but also ensures that an inherent bias doesn’t  lead to a poor or incorrect assumption within your process document. Here’s the proven, repeatable process our Business Analysts have used to help hundreds of different businesses and clients:  

Identifying the Process

We work with your organization to determine which processes are most critical within your organization and need documentation the most, focusing on high impact, complex, and key man risk factors specific to the process. 

Gather Information & Define Boundaries

We engage process owners and SME’s to gather detailed information about the process. This includes interviews, workshops, and observations to document their expertise.  

Map the Process Flow

Using the appropriate medium, we create a visualized representation of the process to ensure accuracy and clarity of how the process operates within the organization’s broader system. 

Describe Steps, Roles, Outputs, and Inputs

While a visual representation of the workflow is great, the Hammer Dev team augments the utility of the visual by including a detailed narrative breakdown of each step, including who’s involved, what inputs initiate each step, and what outputs are required by it. 

Review and Validate

Throughout this process, our team verifies the accuracy of each step with the stakeholders who are responsible for each of the designated processes to ensure that no piece of critical information is overlooked. 

Publish Documentation

With a full, detailed understanding of the process, we then generate a formal report with a full breakdown of the existing systems, workflows, and processes while also offering recommendations for optimizing those processes if any were uncovered during our exploration. 

Let’s Make Process Documentation a Higher Priority

Our team is ready to help you keep your operations productive, consistent, and sustainable. For more information, please fill out this form today.

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