Start with desired result for a streamlined business process
Savvy business owners and managers have a way of coming up with great ideas to resolve issues, become more competitive or
push business forward into the future. Communicating those ideas to personnel and implementing them company-wide may prove more challenging. You may have experienced stress or fatigue as ideas dance around your head while the execution of them remains elusive.
In order for ideas to evolve into outcomes, there must be a standardized way of communicating them with a simple plan for how to execute them within your company. When there is clear direction and tools for implementing the task, then getting results is more probable.
MySherpa has successfully adopted basic business documentation for streamlining processes that we refer to as our “Single-Page System.” It employs a one-page document divided into seven sections that outline a business process and how to implement it:
- Result (desired outcome)
- Why is this important?
- Who will be accountable?
- When (timing and duration)?
- How will success or results be measured?
- What resources will be required?
- How will this be accomplished? (List the steps.)
MySherpa begins with the benefit goal: the desired, big-picture result of using a particular process. As you move through the narrowing definitions of “what,” “when” and “who,” the last section describes “how.” This should be a simple list of steps required to perform the task. If the documentation begins to spill over beyond a single page, it’s possible you are trying to define more than one process. Re-evaluate it and make adjustments.
By creating easy-to-follow systems for repetitive activities, we can ensure consistent execution and outcome, no matter who in the company does the work. Payroll is a perfect example of such an activity; it demands precision and accuracy each time it’s performed. The single-page document should be attached to each job description in the company as an extension of how that role is defined. Should you find yourself needing to substitute resources, the blueprint on how to perform the tasks will already be complete.
To begin, MySherpa suggests that the experienced personnel currently in each role be responsible for documenting the systems for that role in your company. Add this as a responsibility in the job description for your managers. Then work one-on-one with your managers and draft a system or two together so they understand both your expectations and how to perform the task. They will have enough knowledge to progress, on their own, to write the remaining systems documentation. Finally, review the documents before they are internally published.
This is a smart and steady way to document the systems for each and every position in your company and build value. It will be easier to assimilate future personnel and accommodate promotions into different roles. In the end, you will have documented “your company way” – that is, your unique recipe for your businesses success.
Greg Gurev is Head Sherpa and CEO of business IT company, MySherpa.