Documenting your process (or – how long does it take?)

Documenting your process (or – how long does it take?)

So you’ve started documenting a process.

Making a record of the best way to do a particular job.

Good decision!

But your first question is bound to be a very obvious one.

How long will it take?

Or, to put it another way: ‘What’s the process for documenting a process?’

And the answer, of course, is; ‘Well, that depends…’

It may not take very long

If it’s a straightforward process, then it won’t take you long to write it down.

So why wouldn’t you take the time to do it?

Suppose that the person who usually does it is away on holiday. Or off sick.

(And yes, that could be you. I know business owners are never ill and never take holidays. But even so…)

Either no one will do it. (Oops…!)

Or someone will do it. Badly. And wrong.

So what’s the choice?

Well, if it’s a planned absence you could take the time to tell someone what to do.

But if you have to do that more than once, you’ll wish you’d written it down!

So – why not take the time when you have it available? (And not while you’re trying to think of everything you need to do before you go away.)

It may take a long time

All right, so it’s a complex process. There’s a lot of detail. Many things that need to be ‘just so’. Perhaps some crucial interactions with other people.

So – if it’s that complex doesn’t it need to be written down?

Think how many opportunities there might be to get something wrong.

Better yet, is it worth thinking about why it’s so complex?

Does it need to be? Could it be simplified? Could it be done better? Or another way?

Time, perhaps, for a review. Or at very least a good, long think while you write everything down.

Because the simple fact is – that simple always works best.

So – how long will it take?

The simple answer? As long as it needs to. But however long it does take, it’ll be worth it for your business.