The Quick Way to Document the Systems in Your Business
As a business owner, you need to be able to efficiently delegate tasks and responsibilities to your employees. If you’re like me, you’ve tried to do this by painstakingly writing down the steps of your processes, getting screenshots, and creating a document (or binder) that shows how to perform a task step-by-step.
The problem is, this takes way too long and it’s likely that no one will ever reference it.
In this post I’ll share a modified version of a brilliant technique that I learned from the book Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz that makes capturing systems much quicker.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Create a list of your processes
List each thing you do for a client from the first interaction you have with them, through a completed project and the follow-up. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. This is a living document that will evolve.
Create your master list in some sort of cloud-based document system that allows you to easily link between documents. I’ve found Dropbox Paper to be perfect for this.
2. Create a linked document for each process
Now pick one of the items in the list you created. Create a new document for that one process and link to it from your main process list.
In this document we’re going to include two things:
A video of you executing the process as you explain.
A brief checklist that lists the steps in this process.
3. Record a video showing each process
The key takeaway from the book Clockwork is that instead of writing down your processes, you can capture them quickly using screen recording software and a web cam (or a smartphone).
Recording it this way saves time because it keeps you from overthinking things. It helps you get the ideas out of your head and documented for others. It’s also significantly easier for an employee to quickly learn from a video than reading a document with screenshots.
I recommend using a simple screen + camera recording software like Loom that instantly stores your recordings in the cloud. Or if you have a process that is more physical, you can just use your smartphone.
4. Create a simple checklist for each process
Once you’ve recorded the video, simply bullet-point the main tasks that need to be completed as part of the process. No screenshots or description necessary (all the detail is in the video).
Including this in the document along with the video makes it easier for your employees to reference the steps quickly after they’ve watched the video. They can also copy this into their own task management system to help them make sure they complete all of the steps each time they execute this process.
How about you? What has helped you have success with documenting processes in your business?