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Business Process Documentation Provides the Blueprint to Future Success

Updated: Jan 10

Document your business processes from start to finish with as much detail as possible. Follow the stakeholder/s who complete the activity or task. What data do they need to complete the activity or task? Take photo's as you follow the process so you can create a process flow that includes decision points. Include the role of the person who completes each activity or task. Ask the question - Why?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

​–​ Henry Ford

Business process organisation

Over the past 20 years working within the ERP implementation space it has become abundantly clear that priority of the client documenting and understanding of their process has not been recognised during the presales cycle . Technology advancements such as the introduction of cloud and the latest newcomer AI have not removed the importance of process documentation but cemented processes as a fundamental building block that is not limited to an ERP but applies to the businesses ecosystem. Documented processes are used to determine where automation may be achieved based on day to day reiterative processes.

Detailed documentation of processes from inception to completion including output is required to support the successful translation to an ERP and overall integrated ecosystem.

Tip #1 - Name your process

A business process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks performed by people or equipment in a specific sequence that produces a service, product or company goal.

Core processes include marketing, sales, production, distribution and customer service. There are back of office finance processes that are supported by these core processes.

Tip #2 - Determine process boundaries

A process boundary is the limit of what you want to study and improve in a process. It is not the same as the physical boundary of a location or a department. Rather, it is the logical boundary of the activities and resources that are relevant to your project goal.

Project boundaries perspective are limits that help establish clear expectations and priorities and ensure that everyone involved in a project is working towards the same goal. By setting boundaries at work, project managers create a framework for better communication, collaboration, and productivity.

System boundaries should not be considered when documenting business processes.

“If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution. “

​– Albert Einstein

Tip #3 - Select process outputs

An output may be a physical object (such as a report or invoice), a transformation of raw resources into a new arrangement (a daily schedule or roster) or an overall business result such as completing a customer order.

Tip #4 - Choose your process inputs

An input can be anything that flows into the business process environment. This includes tangible items, such as a product, to intangible items such as an order.

Tip #5 - Document activities

A business process is an activity or set of activities that accomplish a specific organizational goal. Business processes should have purposeful goals, be as specific as possible and produce consistent outcomes.

Tip #6 - Organise your process

Organising a process refers to a structural framework in which an organisation operates to achieve its desired goals. It attempts to determine a methodical approach to use the available resources and workforce of the organisation in an optimum manner. Establishing Workflows for your business processes is key to consistency and efficiency with minimal waste enhancing the quality of your products or services.

Tip #7 - Review your process

To conduct a business process review or analysis, commence by mapping the current business process using flowcharts or process mapping techniques. Then, analyse the data collected to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or areas for improvement. Finally, develop a plan to implement changes to optimise the process.

“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”

​–​ Steve Jobs

Tip #8 - Assign process roles

The final step of process documentation is to define the role for each activity or task.

Closing Statement

Do not strive for perfection you will never arrive. Strive for continual improvement!

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. “

​–​ Benjamin Franklin

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