Every business has core processes that should be documented. A “core process” is one that supports stability throughout a department. You can likely think of examples of a core process off the top of your head. They include customer service best practices, hiring processes, or systems your sales team utilizes.
Documenting these core processes ensures that your employees and your clients have a consistent experience. Additionally, they provide the training that often underpins the rest of the workflow in a department. Finally, having core processes documented and available for all to use helps to save time in training and keeps your business running like a well-oiled machine.
Eight Core Processes to Document for Any Company
While you can identify the core processes in your business, we can help by directing you to explore particular areas of your company.
Most businesses include the following departments when determining core processes:
- Business Development
- Customer Service
The method we use to determine core processes in any department is:
a. Identify which department seems to be in the most chaos or frequently requires your attention.
b. Note the vital actions necessary to keep that department running smoothly. For example, in customer service, this likely would include how one answers the phone, what a representative is authorized to do when a client is unhappy, and how to fix known issues. It may also include what circumstances would escalate a call and how to escalate.
c. Document the best practices for performing these vital functions. These critical actions and best practices form the foundation for your core processes.
Next, you will want to follow the steps defined below for process documentation.
Five Steps to Follow for Process Documentation
Take these five steps to document processes for core functions in your business.
1. Take one of the essential actions listed above and outline how that function is performed.
2. Define what it means when that action is complete. In many cases, a completed process triggers a new process, so it is important to clarify what it means for a particular process to be called complete.
3. Map out what it takes to go from initiating the process to the defined end goal of a particular process.
4. Break each action down to ensure every aspect of a particular process is clearly defined.
5. Document the process by creating a checklist, video, or series of screenshots to ensure documentation is clear and easy to follow.
From here, you can repeat these actions with every core process until the entire department has documentation in place.
An Example of Core Processes
We previously defined eight departments that likely have core processes in need of documentation. Two of the most common departments in which companies begin process documentation are Human Resources and Sales. Here are examples of core processes in these departments:
Core Processes for Human Resources
- Creating a job ad
- Posting a job ad
- Interview 1
- Interview 2
- Drug screening
- Submitting job offer
- New employee onboarding
- Quarterly reviews
- Benefits administrations
- Conflict resolution
- Firing steps
As you can see, this list is generalized to include the processes that are vital to most HR departments. There may be additional testing and qualifications verification processes necessary for your industry. But the overall idea is to make a list of the most vital HR functions, then document them so HR team members can become trained in the department’s core operations.
Core Processes for Sales
- Identify Opportunities
- Qualify the lead
- Prepare quote
- Proposal presentation
- Onboarding a new client
Some sales departments may have more steps than this, and some may have fewer. However, most companies consistently utilize the above five core processes.
Now that you have read about identifying and documenting core processes, it is time for you to examine your company. What core processes need to be documented in your business? What is missing from your process documentation that could provide additional stability to your company?
If these questions are overwhelming or make you feel like you are adding to an already full plate, contact the process experts at Business Success Consulting Group. We are here to help you and your team document the vital processes necessary to create consistency and support company growth.
Get your no-cost initial consultation today.