Business process documentation best practices: The 12 most used

The use of business process documentation best practices can be a determining factor for achieving success in the implementation of BPM  in an organization.

Contrary to what some think, documentation is not just used to create manuals or memorials of a company’s improved process design, turning into a paper pile of little use.

On the contrary!

In fact, it is an integral and active part of a BPM project, assisting in the analysis, data collection, design, mapping and process redesign and the only adequate way to find the best way to make the supply chain effective and efficient in the company, introducing improvements and results expected by senior management.

It is important to note that there are 3 main points where business process documentation best practices play a central role in the implementation of BPM:

  1. In the clear definition of the company’s value chain.
  2. In defining the current process (AS IS).
  3. In defining the improved process, as it will be (TO BE).

We saw this in more detail in this post: How to document business processes: Value chain, AS IS and TO BE.

Now, to help your company do a good job in this important task, we present some business process documentation best practices commonly used by market experts.

See also: Analysis and improvement of business processes: best practices.

Business process documentation best practices

1. Do not deviate from the value chain

The backbone of the documentation process is the value chain.

Therefore, this should be the first phase of the whole documentation project, when the chain is studied, understood and represented in the form of a stream of activities which clearly illustrates the generated products and services and the processes involved in each of them.

2. Do not focus on the work of departments

A company where there is no clear idea of the value chain ends up doing BPM work focused on work areas or departments.

It is not the purpose of documentation, it must consider the value chain as a whole, showing the value gain (or failures in trying to get it) in each step of the process until the final delivery to the customer.

3. Understand the project objectives

Another important factor is to understand the objectives of the project that is the subject of the work.

Business process documentation best practices tell analysts to never deviate from the objectives and goals of the company, including the strategic level.

Remember:

At the end of the value chain to deliver a product that the customer perceives as more valuable than all the efforts and resources used on it during production.

It creates profit!

4. Choose good indicators

The choice of indicators to measure the efficiency of processes is another key point.

By opting for indicators that do not adequately measure the real objectives that the project and the company want to achieve, is often like shooting yourself in the foot.

You can end up committing to an improvement that works effectively but is being measured by the wrong parameters.

More: Get to know 8 process performance indicators (KPI)

5. Document improvement opportunities

To identify possible improvement points, you need to detect problems and weaknesses at each stage of the process.

How?

Use a spreadsheet especially developed for this, where the opportunities for improvement are documented.

If you use some software for managing improvements … even better! See below how a person who acts in a process can access the process documentation and send a suggestion:

6. Keep an eye on the expectations generated

Business process documentation best practices recommend keeping in mind the expectations generated.

If there is an effort to document it, it is because it is on the agenda for future improvements.

Align it well with senior company management to avoid disappointing results; this is an important function of documentation.

 

7. Review adequately sized processes

Analyze a set of processes that can be documented in a reasonable time.

Dwelling on large projects can stretch the job out so that results are not presented in time, eventually discrediting the efforts.

 

8. Have the right people at the meetings

Meetings for drawing and mapping processes should rely solely on the people who work or are a part of the reporting process. They can contribute their experience, giving relevant and pertinent opinions.

Check out: 3 Mapping, analysis and process improvement techniques

 

9. Determine the level of depth of information

Be careful to not overdo the deepening level of documentation.

Consider as the basis, once again, the goals you want to achieve and remember that there is a level of necessary and sufficient information, beyond which it will be superfluous to the process.

Business process documentation best practices recommend that the best way to reach a satisfactory conclusion on this is not to exhaust discussions in one session of talks, but rather, to gather the team as often as necessary to reach a consensus.

 

10. Communication is essential

It is vital to establish channels of communication so that the information flow can flood to all areas involved, clarifying the steps that are being taken and the progress that is being made. The use of endo-marketing techniques, with the help of HR and communication departments, is widely recommended!

 

11. Get the support of strategic levels

Without the commitment of the company’s top management to support the project, providing hours of work for the teams involved, meeting rooms, equipment, and resources, etc. things just simply couldn’t be done.

Remember that all those who collaborate in process documentation also have their daily functions in the company and may have trouble reconciling their schedules.

What obstacles or challenges do you face as you try to gain widespread acceptance of business process efforts at your organization?

 

12. Use a modern BPM tool

Finally, one of the most important practices of document processes is the use of BPMN tools. They will strongly facilitate documentation work, and assist in the sharing of ideas, visualizations, and diagrams.

To learn even more how to generate documentation of your process on HEFLO and understand all the elements of BPMN you need to know to make an good process, watch this video:

Business Process Documentation on HEFLO
Do you know of any other best practice for process documentation?

Post a comment and share your knowledge with our readers.

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