Back in the day, us consultants would instruct our clients to create Procedure Manuals for every duty in the office. This was a daunting assignment, and we'd often allow three to six months of diligent effort to get the first draft done. The problem was, even if it did get done, the procedures would oftentimes have changed before the proverbial ink had even dried!
So, am I saying that documented procedures are no longer recommended here at Williams Group Consulting? No! But, for goodness sakes, use all this technology we have at our fingertips!
Tip #1 - Create a good place to keep all your procedures, not on paper! You must have a digital information center. A free Google Drive is okay, but there are issues with access and permissions unless you build a Google Workplace ($6 to $20+ per month). Office 365 is another great business option, also a paid service. You can save procedures on a shared local drive if that is an option in your practice. As an owner or manager, you must have control over who has the right to add, change, and delete stuff from your information center or chaos can ensue.
Tip #2 – Use screen captures and video whenever possible to document procedures. We all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Just show how you do something. Don't write a novel that no one will read. Don't worry if it isn't pretty and professional. Chances are you'll be redoing it next month, anyway! We all know how quickly things can change in this industry.
Tip #3 – Commit to regular use, review, and updates of your procedures. Delete them when they are outdated. Organize them according to a system that makes sense to your team (By role? By department?) There is no perfect organization, so just pick one and stick to it. Set a goal to add one new procedure a week and report on it during your weekly team meeting.
Tell us what the current state of your procedures resources are right now. Do you struggle with this best practices or do you have it dialed? Any tips you can share?