I was always intrigued by documentation, how easy it seemed to be and how difficult at the same time. I have now spent last few years documenting our business and it was a challenge.
It might seem obvious but it is very important to firmly grasp the main goal of documentation.
Its core purpose is to pass the knowledge from an individual to the organisation. It is to teach others what you have locked in your head.
Documentation enables teamwork and that helps you beat the only true limitation there is – time.
As you keep improving your processes documentation helps with reducing mistakes and as a result, improves quality. This, of course, saves time, too.
It is impossible to grow a business without documentation. In fact, lack of documentation can kill the business when, for example, a key employee leaves one day.
Documentation is therefore an essential business enabler. The better the quality of your business documentation, the more successful the business is.
I remember that from the very start, although I didn’t understand why, I somehow felt the documentation was important. Two main issues I originally faced were how to do it and where to start.
Considering how important documentation is and that writing down your thoughts requires your maximum concentration, you must slow right down and create enough headspace to get your brain in the right mode. I will repeat:
you must slow
One of the first documents that must be created will describe how your documentation process works. This document becomes even more important once there are more people in the organisation responsible for creating documentation.
Ideally, you want to create culture of documentation to get everybody in the company involved. Embedding documentation in your organisation culture will make it feel natural and effortless. Everyone benefits, your business, your clients and your suppliers.
To sum up the answers to how to do it question are:
- Slow down when producing documentation
- Create a documentation process for everybody involved
- Build culture of documentation in your organisation
Documentation is such a great long term time saver but it requires slowing down to achieve desired good quality, creating a special process to get it done right, especially when there is a number of people involved and ideally building a documentation culture in your business.
You might ask yourself where to start as the task seems intimidating at first. Often to the point that it never gets done, which subsequently means that the business growth, if it grows at all, is a messed up and painful process (“organic” is often used, more glorified term) during which the business can easily get killed as the business’s founder feels they are not achieving their goals and dreams.
To get the most out of documentation at early stages use common sense and 80/20 rule.
- Document the repeating activities that are frequently used first
- Document the activities that when done incorrectly jeopardise the business or the business standards in the most significant way
You will be able then to perform these tasks faster and without mistakes. You will also be able to delegate them and as a bonus it will be easier for you to recognise the right people to do the job as you will have a very clear job description created as a by-product of good documentation. Finally, every piece of documentation you write saves a little bit of time. And as you get on your way to document your business, you create instruction to this money making machine of yours. The design that now can only get better. It’s a win-win for everybody.
From our experience, operating procedures for the Service Desk is the natural place to start. There are a lot of repetitive tasks and workflows that can be optimised.
Network Bridge Solutions comes with the well documented Service Desk, so if you delegate your Information and Communication Technologies to us you will get this part of documentation ready to serve your organisation.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you to transform your business into a money-making value-creating machine.