How to Document a Business Process

by Kathy Adams McIntosh; Updated September 26, 2017

During the workday, employees follow several processes to accomplish their goals. These goals vary by position and include such duties as recording journal entries, responding to customer inquiries or troubleshooting computer problems. Each department works toward different goals and uses different processes to accomplish those goals. Some companies lack the time to carefully detail the business processes they use. However, writing out the business's processes offers numerous benefits to a company. When a company documents its business processes, it creates detailed steps with which it can guide current employees and train new employees.

Step 1

Write out the objective of the business process. This statement lists the reason for and importance of following the described process. When developing your objective, think about why employees need to follow the process and ask management what the result of following the process should be; your objective should convey these understandings.

Step 2

Identify each step that occurs throughout the process and write each step out as a single sentence.

Step 3

Review each step to determine if it adds to the completion of the process or uses resources without adding value. Eliminate those steps that do not contribute to the objective.

Step 4

Identify and list the tasks necessary to complete each step. Include information on any resources needed to complete the step and how to acquire those resources. Write out each detail in the order it should be performed.

Step 5

Draw a flowchart. Some employees learn more by seeing a visual diagram of the process than reading steps. Include each step and detail written in the process in the flowchart.

Step 6

Review the overall process to identify any missed steps. After creating a preliminary business process, read through the document from the beginning. Practice each step both visually and physically to ensure that every necessary step is included. After concluding that the business process is complete, print a final copy of the document.

Tips

  • Assume that the employee reading the business process has no prior knowledge of the company or its resources and include steps that seem obvious to the experienced worker because these steps may not be obvious to the inexperienced worker.

    Create the business process document using word processing software. This allows you to make easy changes as the business process evolves.