Have you ever been called “the Queen of Process”? No? I have along with “Miss Organized”. I’ve been in technology for over 25 years and in technical writing for almost 20 years. What I do know is that if you want to have something very specific at the end of a long development process you have to have systems in place to ensure everything gets done and nothing gets missed.
I have been on projects where the final product was continually being changed to meet newly perceived needs. The problem with this was that people coding and developing to the original specification often had to request additional time to rework something to be able to incorporate the new aspects. Sometimes this additional time was significant and would lead to what the industry called “project creep”, a very costly delay in development.
In business operations this is called redundancy. Any time you redo, rebuild, reevaluate, or rewrite something, because you have to recreate it every time you get a request, you are losing money and wasting time. Try this instead. I am going to use the process of preparing for my Entrepreneur Club Expert calls to give you an example.
Define the Final Outcome
Know what the big picture or final outcome will be for each task in your business. Is it social media marketing on Facebook or closing a sale? You need to know what you are trying to accomplish before you can define the steps. This also helps other people know what they are trying to complete if they are to follow the process you will define.
The expert call outcome is to host a monthly 1 hour free call with a guest expert bringing business strategies and training for business growth.
Take notes as you go through the process. Don’t just note the steps, note also where you found information, what was needed to get ready, what you had to do to follow up.
After identifying the expert I have to book the date they are available to speak. I will follow up with an email that includes the information they needed to send me, what they will be required to bring, and an overview of the call. I have to update my webpage and update my ezine with the expert’s information for that month. I have to send reminders of the call to the members of the Eclub. I have to have read their bio and have it open for the call. I have to have my conference program running and the recording started. I have to upload the recording to the members’ forum along with any information from the expert.
Create a Process
Now that you know what you have done, create a process with steps. Write it for someone else to follow. In fact, once you are done, have someone else try and follow your instructions and then tweak it to ensure it is clear and easy to understand.
You can easily see the general steps of my process in my explanation of what I have to do, but what you cannot see are the details. The details are the questions another person would ask if they had to follow the steps above.
- What do you usually put in the email when asking the expert for their information?
- Where do you store the expert’s documents?
- How do you get access to the members’ forum or the conference line?
- How do you start and end the expert call?
After answering the details I have documents and instructions to help someone else do the work. I have an email template I send to experts so I don’t have to rewrite my instructions to them; I have a template for the call flow and a listing for all the access information.
Defining the process takes the most amount of time. Follow these three steps and you can create instructions that will define the processes in your business so you can save yourself and your employees time and money. Create it once and use it over and over.