Why to document processes, for yourself and others

from Google image search results for "document processes" from marketing91.com

Documenting processes has myriad benefits for your efficiency, quality, accuracy, peace of mind, and more. So, here's the list of reasons that came to me.

  • The first step in improving processes is to document the current process
  • Existing documentation becomes a low-friction place to incorporate lessons and feedback as they occur
  • Takes some of the emotion out of negative feedback or arguments about why things went wrong -- you may have just uncovered a flawed or undocumented process
  • It is helpful to have a tangible reference when a process changes
  • Standardizes output quality and reliability
  • Enables people to check their own work and reduce rework
  • It places you on a map when you're feeling stuck
  • Makes it easier to provide accurate estimates/justify level of effort, for people who don't understand what is involved in a process
  • Removes some low-value decision making -- no reinventing the wheel
  • Makes it easier to teach or delegate a process
  • Makes it easier to learn or take on new responsibility, yourself
  • Contributes to company resilience through succession planning; removes a dependency on one critical individual, in case they are on vacation or leave
  • It just feels good to get something out of your head and written down, so you don't have to rely on remembering it

Don't worry too much about where to document them and the exact formatting, as long as others can find and search them. It's more important to get the information out there.

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