5 Common Mistakes When Documenting Business Procedures

Your business procedures are, in many ways, the backbone of your organization. They dictate where your employees are to direct their energies and how they are to handle everyday situations. This gives you a ready template for taking care of problems, as your objectives will already be laid out, eliminating guesswork. When compiling your protocols, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls.

 

Failure To Identify The Process

This may sound very basic, and that is because it is. Your first step is to properly name the topic at hand. If a procedure is related to a particular department or functionality and it is mislabeled, this sets the stage for a domino effect of complications.

Make sure you have a system for categorizing the various components of your company that is easy to understand. Next, place any subcategories under the main headings so that you can reach absolute clarity with relation to your processes. Look for nuances that may be overlooked during a crisis situation, as accuracy will enable you to resolve issues much more quickly.

 

Leaving Out The Scope And Boundaries

Your procedure will have a start point and an end point, and it is vital that these are articulated. It is very likely that you will have to differentiate between actions that would seem related but that are not, and you’ll also have to distinguish between what seems like it is the same but isn’t.

You don’t want your labor force to go outside the bounds of what is needed nor do you want them to stop short. For this reason, define the very specific parameters of what must be done to execute a particular task.

 

Neglecting To Classify Outputs

This is simple cause and effect. By virtue of having completed the desired undertaking, this will affect other systems. Some of this will be desirable, but some may not be. There may simply be paperwork that should be filled in by staff afterward, so be sure to map this out.

In addition, you need to document the expected outcome and how people can be sure this goal has been reached. If there are specific metrics by which this can be recognized, include these in your writeup.

 

Not Clearly Pinpointing Inputs

Your team members will need specific resources to follow the directions, and these are referred to as your inputs. It’s necessary to have a list of these and to specify which directives they should be matched with and when.

If there are clearances needed to obtain these, don’t leave your team in the dark about how to go about this. Include names of supervisors and contact information and also any passwords, if applicable, that they will need to log into local area networks.

 

Being Wordy

Although you want to be detailed in your procedures, you do not want to be wordy. Excess verbiage reduces the amount of time it takes to understand what needs to be done, affecting turnaround, which can reduce the bottom line.

Aim for concise but thorough descriptions that can easily be skimmed or read. Bullet points are an excellent way to present instructions in a clean manner that also conveys rich intelligence. Flowcharts and graphs are another way to convey data without bogging down the reader in an overabundance of words.

Fidelman & Co brings valuable experience and a vast knowledge base to the table when assisting startup firms with their presentation models. In this way, companies can put their best foot forward when seeking partnerships with investors and financial institutions. In addition, we provide consultation for clients in the area of financial direction and by helping create management strategies for scaling in an effective way. We invite you to reach out to us with any questions you may have, and we eagerly anticipate working with you.

Photo courtesy of Pexels 

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Business Continuity