About the Author
Tim has worked in the information technology arena for over 25 years, with 14+ years of ERP implementation experience. He has served as a lead solution architect for several companies' Business Process and Quality & Risk Management for Application Lifecycle Management initiatives. He has a very strong background in compliance and testing competency work and extensive experience in business process, information technology process reengineering and application rationalization.
Five Key Benefits of Business Process Management
Do you think that your company is a uniform monolith that doesn't need to record its processes? Your positive viewpoint is admirable, but you may be oversimplifying how life works.
Regardless how cohesive your organization seems, it revolves around a vast ecosystem of distinct, interrelated processes. It’s up to you to ensure that everyone stays on the same page. Documenting the essential methodologies that your survival depends on is the first step.
Of course, we know that you’ve already got plenty on your plate. Even if you’re totally on board with the need for uniform documentation, you still must convince your staff, managers and other stakeholders that it’s a worthwhile pursuit.
Fortunately, the argument to be made can be a bit easier for you. Here are some of the benefits that you could derive from improved process documentation standards.
1. You’ll Ensure Organizational Continuity
How do you expect to sell your thriving entrepreneurial cash cow if you can’t guarantee that it will keep producing revenue for buyers while you’re off establishing your next market disruptor? If you’re a department head, how will you face your CEO after one of your team leaders’ defects to a competitor without training their replacement in day-to-day operations?
Sure, you most likely have a business continuity plan for such events. Without documentation, however, it’s little more than a set of noble intentions.
Companies that truly want to ensure their continued functionality find it much easier to sustain forward progress when they commit their most critical processes to formal records. In addition to helping other people pick up where you left off, such documentation can make it easier to get yourself back on track following unexpected service interruptions.
2. You’ll Ease the Pain of On-boarding
Hiring is a stressful experience, but interview candidates aren’t the only ones who sweat bullets. Each time you take on new team members, you must teach them the ropes. On-boarding demands significant investments that may hamper your operational capacity.
You can’t necessarily rely on generic training materials or software packages either. Many simply fail to impart the nuances of your corporate culture to new hires. Organizational documentation, on the other hand, lets you augment existing knowledge resources by deciding how new players adapt to your way of life.
3. You’ll Maintain Consistent Standards
You know that you want your company to scale up. There’s a huge difference, however, between random growth and profitable expansion. As your business acquires facilities, departments and teams, you’ll want to be confident that they’re all working towards the same objectives.
How does documentation keep everyone moving in unison? When properly implemented, your process records can travel at the speed of light all the way around the globe.
You can spread relevant methodologies and innovative operating procedures in the time it takes to send an email. With many systems, you don’t even have to CC your training managers because shared repositories make it easy for others to access updated information instantly.
The ability to disseminate top-down directives isn’t the only benefit of consistent documentation practices. Beneficial sharing works both ways, so the employees that you pay to innovate can earn their keep by suggesting changes that propagate from the frontline to the rest of your organization. Why should your individual branches have to keep repeating the same mistakes when a robust documentation system lets everyone learn from common experiences?
4. You’ll Attain Compliance Mastery
As much as you’d like to ignore responsibilities that drain your revenue, you’re obligated to capitulate to the whims of the outside world from time to time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a heavily regulated industry or you just have to keep up with general financial disclosure rules. Effective governance is a cornerstone of your organizational health.
Unfortunately, compliance rules are anything but straightforward. Providing your team members with clearly defined procedural guidelines reduces the likelihood that they’ll make mistakes or oversights that leave you vulnerable to backlash.
5. You’ll Get Better at Customer Service
One of the biggest benefits of process documentation is that it helps you reexamine and improve the way you work. In addition to letting, you avoid past missteps and methodologies that fail to produce desirable results, documenting essential procedures grants you an unprecedented opportunity to serve clients.
Suppose that you’ve been receiving lots of complaints about how long customers have to wait for answers to their help desk requests. Although implementing performance metric standards might make it easier to identify chronic pain points, you’ll find it impossible to improve if you haven’t got a clue where to start. With an exhaustive documentation guide, however, you get to base your corrective decisions on proven knowledge. You can also implement novel solutions that align with your established organizational strategies.
Implementing Process Documentation That Works
Unfortunately, you can’t just jump into a partnership with any consulting firm and hope to improve your documentation standards. Far too many companies are focused on identifying the next big disruptor instead of offering practical solutions. Others automatically assume that they can understand your needs without taking the time to listen to your concerns. Some might even attempt to pair you with IT tools that don’t satisfy your requirements.
It’s vital that you seek a partner with the in-house knowledge to help you resolve your process documentation deficiencies. They should also have the willingness to concentrate on your needs.
At IMPRIVA, we specialize in consulting services based on client-specific solutions that deliver real results. Whether you’re completely new to documenting essential practices or you’d simply prefer to hone the way you record what you do, we can help refine and preserve your standards.