Over the past few weeks Crystal (our COO) and I have had an amazing journey. As we have met new people, formed new client relationships and friendships there is a glaring theme. All businesses have struggles. Period. This isn't a news flash to anyone, I realize, and it wasn't a news flash to me either. However, what has been eye opening is how MUCH the same business owners and managers feel across varying organizations.
One of the most common issues companies realize they must face is their lack of documentation of processes. After you've been in business for several years and you look around at who is responsible for which tasks... and then who else knows how to do those tasks you may realize that you really don't have a good contingency plan if one of your key staff were to suddenly be out of work. Just the thought of sitting down and typing all processes gives managers and executives a headache, and half the time it's hard to even know where to begin.
We always begin with a simple list. Gather a few key staff and get started. List all departments within the company, then list sub-departments of each department. Then list the key products or services each of those sub-departments produces for your company, what important work comes out of that area. Assign names to those tasks.
At this stage we like to enter the information into our Project Management software but if you don't have that you can use a spreadsheet. Once you have a comprehensive list of tasks you'll need to assign someone to take the lead on getting processes created, collected, language/voice streamlined and then into a master document. This is the part that will take all the time and this is where most companies have to put things on hold for other fires they need to put out. That's understandable and it's the number one reason why companies are lacking this important documentation. This is definitely a project where you must stay the course to get it completed and then from there it must be monitored and updated as things change. It takes a few vigilant people who are committed to having well documented processes and lots of time but it's very worth it and rewarding in the end.
I'm Lindsey Crabtree, the Founder and CEO of Right Hand Operations. I love meeting new people and making connections, I love observing the commonalities between our clients and how we all have similar struggles in the business world. As I have time I enjoy reflecting on experiences and sharing what I've learned.