Document your system

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You now have your map of the processes within your business. You have the step by step instructions on how to complete each process. It’s now time to formally document them!

When beginning to document your processes, it is worthwhile thinking about the next step which is how to file them (see more about this in next week’s post) as this will determine how you go about documenting. Will you be storing them on your internal server, on cloud storage such as Dropbox or OneDrive, or using a cloud software such as SystemHUB, Process Street or private YouTube channels for your videos.

No matter which way you decide to file your process, before you commence documenting you need to have a think about the five w’s and one h – who, what, where, when, why, and how. You may even like to use these points as headings for your documenting your process.

  • Who – who should use the document. Who else needs to be involved in the process?
  • What – or your purpose. What is this process used for?
  • Where – does this process involve other software, other processes?
  • When – when should this process be followed? How long should it take? Can you jump ahead and come back to steps later on? Does this process form part of another process?
  • Why – your final outcome.
  • How – your step by step process as defined last week!

Other information also worth thinking about:

  • Terms – define any unusual terms or abbreviations. The tip with abbreviations is to write it out in full the first time you use it, followed by the abbreviation in brackets, for example, as soon as possible (ASAP). The next time you need to use it, you can just use the abbreviation. If you are making a video recording, ensure you cover any unusual terms or abbreviations at the start of your video or as you come across them.
  • Issues/Exceptions – what to do when encountering problems, who to seek advice from.

With all of this information in mind, you can begin to document your process. We suggest creating a video recording (or screen capture) as well as writing it down – some people prefer to watch a short five minute video rather than reading a ten page instruction sheet.

If you can, create a template for your business to ensure that none of the information you require is missed or use the one available as this weeks’ freebie template!

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you as always! Next week will be all about the different options of storing your systems – there are some really awesome solutions!