You’ve probably heard about the expression ‘single source of truth’ when discussing data and data management. It refers to a designated centralised database that nurtures all analysis you do for your business. Such a centralisation secures the quality and consistency of data. Similarly, you also need a ‘single source of truth’ for your business processes.
If you wonder what I mean, recall any complaint you had made to a service provider because they failed to deliver the service as promised. You had to be on the phone with a few operators to solve your problem. Recall all the different answers you’ve received, the various solutions you’ve offered, and how many times you had to give the same information. That is because their processes are not standardised, not documented, and the personnel is not receiving up to date training material. Likely, they don’t have a single source of truth for processes, and therefore, every operator tells you a different story and handles your claim differently. The bottom line, your request remained an unresolved long time.
You might be facing the same lack of process consistency in your business or even at home. Have you found yourself in a position of digging through drawers, file cabinets, maybe that stack of papers on your desk, books, even online manuals looking for a specific piece of documentation? Have you tried to train employees and realised that you perform particular tasks in a few different ways for no specific reason?
You get the point.
Suppose you want to give a good service level, scale your business, or delegate your work to somebody else. In that case, you need to document your processes. By doing so, you are bringing in place the consistency the customer or the stakeholder expects.
Process documentation repository
The dichotomy is that processes directly delivering to clients usually tend to be streamlined, documented, and digitised. However, back end processes or supporting operations are not. It is not a priority until you have a fire fighting situation: wrong invoicing, no client updates in the CRM, no coding scheme, not clear responsibilities… Suddenly processes break, data on customers is lost, and you lose potential sales.
You need a place where you store, update and share your process documentation: a single source of truth for processes. It has to be a place accessible by the whole company.
You can map and document processes manually if your business is small. However, as soon as you start growing your client base and hiring personnel, you must consider automation.
Consider using apps such as Lucidchart as a repository where you and other co-workers can find up-to-date documentation of the company’s processes. Whether you’re working in Cloud or Google Workspace, you can insert your Lucidchart diagrams directly into your workspace to consolidate documentation.
You can also consider working with an online project management tool that can enable you to map, document and automate tasks and processes, projects, and teamwork. Evaluate Monday.com. It is flexible & intuitive software. It allows you to collaborate in real-time from anywhere, automate repetitive tasks and even file sharing. You or your team can update information on processes, tasks.
As dull as it may sound, mapping and documenting processes is an important task. You have to be able to access process information rapidly to operate efficiently, provide consistency to the customers, support onboarding, and further train new talent.