Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are fairly definitive - do this, then do that, then do the other thing - and require a set order of operations. There also happen to be a lot of these processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented so you and your employees can refer to this documentation later. Here, we’ll offer a few tips on how to best document a task.
When it comes to documentation, you need to remember the importance of playing to the middle. With the exception of tasks that are remarkably specific by nature, producing documentation that is too specific won’t be nearly as helpful. Of course, you also need to avoid creating documentation that is too open-ended - leaving your instructions too vague won’t help anyone either.
Of course, in order for your documentation to be usable, it also needs to be stored where it can be accessed by your employees as needed. It should be equipped with the capability to search through the documents within it, sorting them and tracking edits. Basically, we’re saying that you need to implement a document management system or knowledge center for your processes. If you need help weighing your options as far as this is concerned, we can assist you in the decision-making process.
Or, DIARI for short. This step is a crucial one, as it will dictate how helpful your documentation ultimately is. What you’ll have to do is to go through the process yourself, taking notes to build a step-by-step guide to it. When you do so, you should include every detail, including things like contact information and standard procedures. If a given process requires a checklist of questions to be asked, that checklist should appear in the documentation for it. The same goes for anyone who is meant to be contacted during the process… their contact information should be provided.
This will also allow you to make insights into the process for yourself, potentially showing you ways to improve it.
Of course, once you have those insights, you may as well implement them and try your process again. For instance, if going about your process in a different order than what you had originally settled on may make it better, run another trial and see how it affects it. Whether it improves the process or hinders it, you now have more information as to the right way to do things, allowing you to make better choices for your business operations.
Once you’ve sat yourself down and begun, you’ll find that creating helpful documentation for your business is a fairly easy process. Furthermore, there are solutions available that you can leverage to improve your documentation even more, like Steps Recorder on Windows.
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Washington Works has been serving the Bethesda area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.
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