So, what is process documentation?
Well, let’s look at the definitions of Process and Documentation:
- Process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
- Documentation: material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record.
So, Process Documentation is the act of creating material that provides official information about a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end.
What are the basics of Process Documentation?
Basically, it’s writing down what you do and how you do it so that someone else can comprehend it and there is a record of it. This practice allows information to flow freely. It allows for people to cross-train so nobody lives in the land of “You Just Know”.
I’ve worked with companies where people lived in the “Land of ‘You Just Know’“. The amount of disconnect in their team and/or dependence on ONE or TWO people made for a very confusing and distrustful workplace.
What’s the “Land of ‘You Just Know'”?
The newbie comes in, get’s “trained”, and thinks they know the job… Only to find out they’ve missed a HUGE chunk of information. The people who work there don’t even think about that information anymore because it’s so “ingrained” into their job.
What happens then is the folks who have been at the job for a while say, “Why don’t you know that?” They look at the newbie like they’re stupid for not knowing this one “basic” thing. But the veteran worker forgets about when they didn’t know that “basic” thing. And it’s because that “thing” is only a “thing” in this particular company.
No one wants to live in the “Land of ‘You Just Know’“. It’s ripe with obstacles and land mines.
Effects of the “Land of ‘You Just Know'”
I was once fired from a new job because of something “You Just Know” that I didn’t know. The company contested my unemployment claim. When Unemployment found out that I was told about the “You Just Know” item the day before I was fired, I was awarded my claim.
Living in the “Land of ‘You Just Know’” is not good for you, your business, or your employees and/or contractors.
So, now what? How do I document a process?
Do the work. Write down what you do and how you do it. Take a few minutes to download the Process List PDF jot down what you do every day. Get started moving out of the land of “You Just Know”.
Remember to keep your hands on the wheel and your foot on the gas!
Check out my Process Documentation course offerings HERE.