Why is it important? What documents are your team referencing for completing their work? Very often we neglect documenting our process and force the team to figure out the work. There are many excuses we use to justify why we fail to document our process. Often, we wrongly believe the process is so simple it doesn’t need to be documented. Occasionally, we don’t document the process because we don’t want to be bothersome.
Documenting your process is the best way to ensure your team has access to the best method for completing their work. Documentation also gives you the framework needed for training new employees.
So How do you do it? Start by examining the process inputs and outputs through the lens of the customer requirements. You can utilize a SIPOC diagram to identify these. Once identified, ensure they are tightly controlled in the process. Now you can begin documenting the process. A detailed process map is useful as it maps out every step in the process.
What are the types? Organizations that are mature with tools used in Lean & Six Sigma use a variety of documentation tools to keep their process stable. If your organization is new to documenting process, begin by focusing on Work Instructions and Standard Work Documents:
Work Instructions document the steps performed by an operator at a certain work center to transform the product or service. Typically, organizations have a separate work instruction for each operator position.
Standard Work documents the tasks which need to be completed at a regular frequency to keep things running smoothly. Standard Work documents are great for outlining leader tasks which need completed and are typically in the form of a signoff sheet the leader or operator maintains then turns in to leadership at the end of the work week.
How do you improve it? Process documentation is meant to be improved upon. But…….it must be done using a process. When it is determined a change is warranted it must be thoroughly vetted and once approved track the re-training of those already working in the role to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
There are many new tools available as well. There are now software solutions available to automate work instructions. These new technologies make it easier to update and disseminate work instructions to the team.
If you’d liked to learn more about documenting your process as well as the advantages of implementing a software solution, please contact us. We’d love to learn more about you and your business in order to help you create Better Leaders, Better Teams & Better Process