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Documentation: How to stop hating it and embrace its potential

This post is an introduction to a series on writing and maintaining successful documentation of your business processes.

Imagine your top employee just announced that they will be leaving your company. Panic sets in as you realize the extent of knowledge and expertise that will soon walk out the door. How will you ensure a seamless transition and prevent critical information from getting lost?

The answer is having your processes documented. As many processes as possible.

Documentation serves as a lifeline for organizations, safeguarding vital knowledge and ensuring continuity in the face of employee turnover or unexpected challenges. It goes beyond mere note-taking; effective documentation is a strategic approach that empowers teams to work efficiently, collaborate seamlessly, and maintain consistency across projects and departments.

What can good documentation do for you?

Having your processes identified and documented brings the following benefits to your company:

  • The documentation Accumulates and Preserves the knowledge
  • It reduces dependencies on specific employees
  • It simplifies onboarding and allows for knowledge sharing
  • It ensures operational consistency
  • It enhances operational efficiency
  • It’s the first step towards automation

Efficient documentation should tick the following boxes:

  • It’s easy to understand
  • It’s effortless to access and use
  • It’s easy to update and improve

But it’s a burden…

We tend to think of documentation as an insurance policy. You hate to pay for it until you actually need it.

There are also a lot of issues associated with it…

  • No one has time to prepare it
  • It gets obsolete quickly
  • It’s hard to access it
  • It’s not practical to use.

The pain is real and it often outweighs the benefits mentioned above.

This series will focus on these and other issues related to creating and maintaining good documentation.

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