Process documentation is the recording of processes that a company carries out on a regular basis. Usually created to train employees, process documentation and training can sometimes take time away from other activities. However, fixing problems caused by employees who did not receive adequate training or who did not understand the correct way to carry out a process can also take time out of a day.
Organizations consist of a series of processes integrated together to accomplish an overarching goal. Process documentation involves the recording of these various processes so that organizations can understand how they function and also devise strategies to improve them.
Processes must be recorded in a clear and convincing manner because these processes can also help articulate changes needed in the ways in which employees carry them out. Management can sometimes develop process documentations into training manuals to train new employees.
Process documentation must be actionable so that individuals who never carried out these processes before can do them. The reason why certain products are the same throughout a chain of stores is because the process of creating those products—a cup of coffee, for example—has been clearly documented in a way that allowed others to create duplicates of the product. Process documentation must be actionable to aid managers in training employees.
Process documentation should be written to define clearly the cause-and-effect nature of processes. Processes must be documented in isolation as well as documented to explain how various processes relate to one another. For example, an organization might wish to understand how its meeting process impacts the openness of the company’s discussion.
Those creating process documentation must also be aware of what to omit in the process documentation. For example, some processes are so simple they need not be described. Other processes do not necessarily have to be done correctly every single time.
Often managers can combine process documentation and training. Process documentation can save time for workers who could be doing other tasks instead of using time undergoing training. However, process documentation does not always explain information clearly enough to employees. Often it must be combined with hands-on training to ensure that information is clearly understood by a new employee.