Define, While Doing

#FPF – Week 75

When polled, most small to medium-sized businesses would admit that they are terrible at documenting the processes that make their business run.  Each team member has “their way” of doing something and God forbid that [someone] is out sick and you need to cover for them…

Being the only one that knows how to do what you do works when you are an army of one, but is by no means scalable.  Many medium to large businesses are victim of this too.  They were once small, kept the same people around long enough to grow to a substantial size, but what happens when those original team members then either start to retire, jump ship to another organization or heck – die off altogether?  You are left scrambling to keep things from completely falling apart…

The Point?

Don’t let the key players in your business be the linchpin of your organization.  Instead, begin to define and document while you’re “doing”.

Have your team members do the same with their day to day actions – everything from “Here’s how [we] handle a customer support call”, to “Here’s how we prepare an order for shipment”.  The more you have processes defined, the better!  This exercise also gives you the ability to review the processes for inefficiencies and determine what things can be getting done more effectively in the future.

But How?

Don’t get crazy…  In its simplest form you could start documenting your company’s processes via word doc, but using something a little more collaborative like Google Docs from G Suite, or a web-based corporate wiki/knowledge base makes it super easy to loop in all of your teams and departments and begin contributing in real time!

These web/cloud-based options allow for you to easily refer to the latest processes needed, from whatever device is closest to you – like the time you find yourself filling in for Joe in the shipping department (when you’re Sally in the design department).  You got this Sally!

It’ll take some time to get things rolling, but once the bulk of these processes are defined – you will find yourself spending way less time explaining things to people or getting new team members up to speed which will mean more time for you to do what really matters!

Examples?

Here’s a few examples of wiki/knowledge base platforms you can check out and leverage for your business:

*Note: I have no affiliate relationships with any of the platforms listed above – just sharing ones I know others have had success with in the past.

Thank you for reading this and have a great weekend!