How to Write Process Documentation

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Whether you're completing recurring tasks oregon creating a caller program, process documentation tin assistance you formalize your concern endeavors. In fact, creating documentation helps amended coordination, structure, and consistency successful your organization.

process documentation flowchart draught connected a whiteboard

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This station gathers champion practices for process documentation. Here, you’ll learn:

  • What is process documentation?
  • Why Process Documentation Matters
  • Process Documentation Benefits
  • Creating Process Documentation
  • Tips for Process Documentation

What is process documentation?

Process documentation involves creating interior guides that outline the steps needed to implicit a task from commencement to finish. These materials tin beryllium utilized erstwhile onboarding a caller prosecute oregon transferring tasks erstwhile an worker resigns. Process documentation tin besides show the complexity of a definite role.

Process documentation could beryllium a step-by-step tutorial connected a caller bundle instrumentality oregon an onboarding papers for caller hires. This signifier allows you to beryllium proactive successful designing interior systems and processes that prevention time, capital, and invaluable energy.

Why Process Documentation Matters

If you deficiency operation and details for halfway organizational processes, your concern is much astatine hazard for inefficiencies. Process documentation provides an further furniture of extortion for your organization.

The deficiency of documentation tin pb to the pursuing organizational challenges.

Lack of Information Retention

If conscionable 1 idiosyncratic has extended cognition astir a process, the enactment is astatine hazard of losing that cognition if they leave. Process documentation helps outline the accusation that this idiosyncratic holds and allows you to store it successful a mode that others tin access.


Without a roadmap, there’s a higher accidental that clip volition beryllium wasted connected unnecessary oregon repetitive tasks. Process documentation tin assistance you outline and visualize these redundancies truthful that you tin make a amended solution.


Bottlenecking tin hap astatine immoderate signifier of the process. It’s important to find retired wherever bottlenecks travel from and why. Identifying these delays and hurdles volition beryllium adjuvant erstwhile creating much efficiency.

Revenue Loss

Less productivity means much clip and vigor is exhausted connected the execution of processes successful your organization. Team members past person little availability to instrumentality connected caller projects. This disorganization tin pb to mislaid revenue, oregon adjacent turnover, astatine your business.

Process Documentation Benefits

Process documentation is captious to the wide relation and travel of the systems wrong your organization. Other communal benefits of process documentation follow.

It creates resilience against change.

Process documentation allows your enactment to maintain a dependable pace and momentum, contempt moving pieces. By breaking everything down (as granularly arsenic possible), idiosyncratic components of the process whitethorn beryllium shifted oregon replaced with sizeable ease.

This tin beryllium particularly adjuvant erstwhile determination is restructuring oregon staffing changes astatine your organization. When 1 idiosyncratic leaves your team, their cognition tin unrecorded on. If a caller teammate joins, documentation volition assistance them ramp up quickly.

You’ll place dispensable processes and steps.

When diving into your organizational processes, you’ll find whether a process is bringing justifiable worth to your organization. You’ll beryllium capable to place which steps wrong your processes are indispensable and effective.

Are determination immoderate steps that tin beryllium altered oregon eliminated without sacrificing efficacy? This signifier volition make clarity for your team.

It collects and organizes knowledge.

A process papers contains corporate cognition connected a fixed attack to a topic. By making these documents easy accessible to squad members, you let for the maturation and travel of accusation passim the organization.

It allows for self-evaluation and accounts for variables.

Process documentation allows squad members to bespeak connected their idiosyncratic contributions. They tin spot precisely their interaction connected the result of a fixed process.

Creating documentation is besides adjuvant successful identifying wherever to marque adjustments to refine the process for amended outcomes.

It ensures compliance.

Your squad should see applicable process documents successful the onboarding and grooming process. You tin past guarantee that squad members, caller and aged alike, person each the accusation they request to implicit a task.

By specifying parameters, you tin marque definite that safety, legal, oregon different compliance is achieved.

It minimizes mistakes.

Mistakes are a earthy portion of life. However, you’ll privation to debar missteps successful your concern whenever possible. Step-by-step instructions to implicit a task tin assistance you minimize these mistakes.

Creating Process Documentation

Now that you’ve seen however indispensable process documentation is to your organization, let’s research however you tin instrumentality it successful your ain businesses.

How to Write Process Documentation

  1. Identify your purpose.
  2. Determine your audience.
  3. Identify the format.
  4. Define scope.
  5. Identify the indispensable tools and resources.
  6. Determine sequence.
  7. Determine liable parties.
  8. Identify boundaries.
  9. Explain contingencies and exceptions.
  10. Review and test.

1. Identify your purpose.

Before you commencement writing, clasp a brainstorming session. During this time, you should find what your extremity papers should accomplish. Are you creating a grooming guide? Are you laying retired a process for elder leadership?

You’ll privation to found a wide sanction for the process you’re documenting and a wide nonsubjective for what you are trying to accomplish.

2. Determine your audience.

Next, place your assemblage and wherefore you request to explicate this process to them. For example, is this for the income squad oregon caller hires? The assemblage volition find the accusation that you include.

3. Identify the format.

You’ll privation to determine what’s indispensable for you to see successful your documentation. And that goes beyond text. Will you request visuals? Perhaps your papers would payment from graphs, tables, oregon a travel chart. Perhaps a PDF oregon webpage isn’t the champion format. Some processes are champion explained implicit video.

process documentation, grooming video

Here, you’ll find which format oregon ocular champion communicates indispensable information.

4. Define scope.

Your scope volition found what is and isn’t included successful your documentation. This tin assistance you support a constrictive absorption connected the circumstantial task that is being documented. Working wrong a defined scope volition assistance your squad debar accusation overload.

5. Identify the indispensable tools and resources.

Next, find what you’ll request to implicit the task. That includes applicable software, tools, and superior needed for each measurement of the process. These resources are sometimes referred to arsenic inputs.

6. Determine sequence.

When possible, outline the sequential steps needed to repetition a process. This plays a immense relation successful expanding ratio and determining the wide occurrence of immoderate task.

However, not each task has a wide sequential order. Sometimes you’ll request to measure assorted scenarios and imaginable outcomes to find the bid of operations for your process. In this case, make antithetic sequences for each scenario.

7. Determine liable parties.

The adjacent measurement is to deliberation of each stakeholder's role. This information of your papers should beryllium arsenic elaborate arsenic possible. Include timeline expectations for each idiosyncratic and however these deadlines enactment your wide timeline goals.

8. Identify boundaries.

Your papers should laic retired immoderate boundaries that signifier your process. That includes process timelines, owed dates, budgetary limitations, cardinal show markers, etc.

If you’re considering changing your process, establishing steadfast boundaries volition assistance you recognize immoderate limitations. You’ll beryllium capable to place what you tin displacement and what indispensable stay constant.

In the staffing process papers below, boundaries related to quality resources are intelligibly defined. The papers besides lays retired wherever HR’s engagement stops.

process documentation example, mounting boundaries

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9. Explain exceptions and contingencies.

Be mindful of exceptions that tin originate and relationship for them successful your process documentation. The aforesaid goes for contingencies. You should outline erstwhile squad members would person to deviate from the designated series of steps.

10. Review and test.

Once you've considered each of these factors and documented your process, you're going to reappraisal your work. Edit your document. Then, trial your instructions by completing the task arsenic outlined. If each goes right, you should execute the desired outcomes of your task.

Remember: If your process involves aggregate stakeholders, this whitethorn extremity up being a task involving layers of feedback. Each position offers you a greater accidental to optimize improvements successful your processes.

Tips for Process Documentation

Before your squad begins writing, present are immoderate pointers that tin assistance you marque the astir of your effort.

1. Keep it brief.

You person the prime of being arsenic wordy oregon arsenic short-handed arsenic you'd like. We urge being arsenic concise arsenic possible. Say capable to get the thought across, without being repetitive oregon utilizing filler words.

2. Include visuals (where applicable).

Visuals tin marque your papers much engaging. For example, images oregon infographics tin interruption up ample chunks of text. That tin marque your papers easier to read.

In different cases, graphs oregon tables whitethorn beryllium the astir adjuvant mode to show information. For analyzable topics oregon ocular processes, a video whitethorn enactment best.

Pro tip: If you’re showing however 1 measurement leads to the next, see a travel chart.

 a step-by-step guide

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3. Give your squad editing power.

Give your stakeholders the quality to edit process documentation. This elemental tweak to your document's permissions settings tin prevention a batch of clip and back-and-forth betwixt your team. As processes alteration implicit time, you’ll person aggregate members of your enactment who tin support your contented up-to-date.

4. Stay flexible.

Remember: There is nary one close mode to papers processes. The lone mode to bash process documentation incorrect is to skip it entirely.

The mode you make documentation whitethorn alteration implicit time. In fact, your papers itself volition apt spell done aggregate iterations. Keep a flexible mindset for the champion results.

Getting Started with Documentation

Now, that you’ve explored champion practices for process documentation, you tin commencement writing.

Remember: Documenting the steps to your astir often followed processes saves your squad from having to perpetually reinvent the wheel. Your squad volition alternatively person a steadfast baseline. Instead, they tin innovate the instrumentality if request be.

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