Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are definitive – do this, then do that – a set order of operations. Further, there are a lot of processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented for training and reference. Here, are a few tips on how to best document a task
Step One: Preparation and Accessibility
When it comes to documentation, it’s important to write it on the broader side of things. However, apart from remarkably specific tasks, producing documentation that is ultra-specific won’t be very helpful – in fact, may confuse the task all together. The key is to play to the middle, offer an understanding of what the purpose is and how to do it.
In order for your document to be usable, people need to know where to find it. Store it in a central location, using a clear naming convention and it should have the capability to search through and track edits. Basically, you’ll need a process for your document management system.
Step Two: Do It And Record It
Or, DIARI for short. This step is crucial as it will dictate how helpful your documentation ultimately is. Go through the process yourself, taking notes to build a step-by-step guide; include every detail like contact information and standard procedures. If a given process requires a checklist, that checklist should appear in the documentation. The same for anyone who is meant to be contacted during the process… their contact information should be provided.
This will also allow you to gain insight into the process for yourself, potentially exposing ways to improve it.
Step Three: Improve It
Of course, once you have those insights, you should implement them and try your process again, and again. Whether it improves the process or hinders it, you’ll have more information, allowing you to make most effective choices for your business.
Once you’ve sat yourself down and begun, you’ll find that creating helpful documentation for your business isn’t as complicated as seems.
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