SafetyCulture Summit 2021
Learn the basics of process documentation & some helpful tips to set one up for success.
Published 30 Sep 2021
Process documentation is the method of recording, mapping, and describing business processes as they are being executed by staff members. It is designed to help employees and managers gain a better understanding of process workflows—essential for determining opportunities for optimizing performance and operational agility.
Although procedures and policies are referenced within the process documentation, it is important to note that process documentation is not the same as documenting procedures and policies. Whilst documentation of procedures and policies outline step-by-step directions and guidelines or laws for carrying out a process, process documentation outlines the necessary activities needed for completing the process or task from beginning to end.
Processes are what keeps a business running. It is for that reason that processes need to be continually analyzed and reviewed, to determine which are still working and which ones need eliminating or changing. Why document it though?
Whether your organization is looking to create new processes or refine existing ones, it is crucial to have processes documented. Process documentation serves as a roadmap for the organization. While it may be a task that’s seemingly tedious and time consuming, it actually provides organizations a number of benefits, some of which are:
Simply put, process documentation becomes valuable for standardizing and scaling operations.
To better visualize the tasks involved in creating a successful process documentation, below is a brief overview of its 5 stages:
As a technique for collecting, analyzing, and communicating experiences in contextually appropriate ways, documenting change plays a significant role for learning from and improving upon the work carried out in companies. Derived from the Process Documentation PDF Report of IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, here is an example of process documentation for a development initiative in the Middle East:
Title: Euro-Med Participatory Water Resources Scenarios (EMPOWERS)
Project Objective: To expand the poor’s access to water through improved water resource
Process Documentation Goal: To reveal underlying social and cultural patterns, particularly those that could become obstacles to the project’s main objective.
Focus Areas: Changes in decision-making, gender issues in villages, and protectorate levels in participating countries
Period Covered: From the beginning and all throughout the four-year project
Outputs: Allowed those most involved in the project to take a step back and reflect on trends, patterns, opportunities, and warning signs, and to adjust their approach
Process documentation training is a series of practical lessons to help employees develop skills for documenting processes. Adequate training enables workers to maximize their time and effort when introducing new or updating existing processes. General process documentation training includes courses on effective communication and problem solving, among others.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a web and mobile app platform that allows teams to keep a record of everyday operations through completing digital checklists and forms.
During process discovery, iAuditor can serve as an excellent data mining tool, as it allows you to not only monitor the performance of employees in executing a process in real time, it also reveals flagged issues associated with it and the corrective actions they took. iAuditor also saves all process documents securely in the cloud. Having your documents stored on the web, allows you to easily access and share documents with the people in your organization. Templates can be created, updated, and scheduled for employees, this allows easy maintenance and standardization across teams.
"In our business, we’re required to write procedures, checklists, and forms to use onboard yachts and ships. For any company looking to streamline their procedures, and become more efficient, iAuditor made all the difference." Stuart Biesel, President of MTSI
Jai Andales is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, she creates well-researched articles about health and safety topics. She is also passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.
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