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5 Easy Process Documentation Benefits for Your Business in '24

Companies often find it difficult to register every single change they implement in their processes after a customer complaint or a serious issue. A lack of documentation in processes leads to higher costs, inefficient workflows and operational damage. By leveraging process documentation, organizations can operate smoothly and faster, reducing additional expenses and increasing efficiency.  

In this research, we aim to explain what process documentation is and to discuss its top 5 benefits to businesses. We also round-off the article by comparing process documentation with process mapping and revise tools that can also automate process documentation.

What is process documentation?

Process documentation is a method that helps gather all the relevant information to execute a business process in an organization to achieve the delivery of the expected result. 

Process documents include comprehensive descriptions of any tasks and activities necessary to a process. Some process document examples are performance reviews, product delivery processes and customer support guides. Process documentation can help such documents be more concise, straightforward and reader-friendly. 

Process documentation software

Users can generate documents by capturing all relevant points with process documentation software. Some vendors allow users to integrate process modeling tools and documentation software to generate documents within the models. 

More modern approach to process documentation is process mining since it automatically discovers and models business processes with all details in much shorter time than traditional tools and methodologies. 

Thus, some vendors integrate task mining with process mining to capture process information that is not stored in the company’s IT systems. For example, information left in spreadsheets can be traced. 

Process models vs Process documents

Process models illustrate the process and its execution. It can overlook details such as the duration of each step in the process or responsibilities for each step. Process documentation enables including such information in the model.  

For instance, process documents contain the delivery date, information and product specifications for a purchase order request process. 

Facilitate training for a smoother onboarding  

While training the staff, explaining operational flows is a major challenge. 

Process documents can overcome this challenge by allowing employers to fully comprehend their roles and tasks that are crucial for a seamless execution. HR teams can use these documents as best practice guides during the onboarding of a new employee or training of the relevant teams over the newly introduced processes.

For example, suppose a new employee in a logistics firm learns how the company manages their delivery after an item is purchased by the customer. The employee goes through dashboards and frameworks that represent the order of activities and related tasks once the purchase is taken, such as checking the inventory, preparing the product, entering the delivery address information and conforming the payment. 

Eliminate inefficiencies 

Without documents, employees have a higher risk of making mistakes, duplicating activities or missing steps, resulting in lost money and customer dissatisfaction. 

Process documentation allows analysts to go over the process details and identify existing or potential inefficiencies in any activity. Consequently, they improve these bottlenecks by modifying the process and eliminating unnecessary steps. Analysts can also discover activities that can be automated to increase efficiency. 

Suppose a customer rep resolves a customer complaint about a customer who did not receive the ordered item. The agents go over their systems and redirect the products to the customer’s address. Yet, the problem repeats because the agent skips the final step in the complaint resolution, which upsets customers and harms the firm reputation.  

Prevent re-designing and increase consistency 

When there is no document, each team member executes the work in their way, re-designing the process every time. Often, employees share their experiences to establish an efficient way of working, but process knowledge relies on the individual. If a key employee leaves, it is often a challenge to write down all necessary process information and pass this to the newcomer. 

With process documentation, process generation is not re-designed every time. Thus, process knowledge is stored and becomes accessible to all and does not get affected by employee changes. 

Provide clarity 

Process documents include every detail relevant to the process execution. Therefore, documentation clarifies the tasks and activities, which reduces operational ambiguity. Process documentation prevents confusion and low-quality work errors by removing the knowledge gaps and internal doubts.  

With documents, process maps or models become easier for the rest of the team since documentation gives more details and aligns maps and models with the purpose of the process. By supporting process maps, employees can understand the priorities and deliverables and perform their tasks accordingly, improving efficiency and productivity.  

Streamline communication and time management

Firms without clear process documents and maps have information in various locations like spreadsheets, emails or employee notes. Such diversity complicates the communication across departments and requires frequent and long meetings to organize knowledge transfer. Yet, these meetings lead to time and money wasted by occupying employees. 

Process documentation can save time by facilitating communication across teams and decreasing the time for meetings.  

For example, a smooth mortgage approval process is only possible with good communication between back and front offices. When the approval process is not documented well, employees at the front office might need to mail or call the back office every time to solve the issues prolonging the approval period for the client. Therefore, clients can become unsatisfied with the service and might switch to another bank.

Further reading

Explore more on process technology and intelligence:

If you believe your business need process documentation, feel free to review our data-driven vendor lists for process mining.

And if you still need help to find the right vendor, let us help you:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Hazal Şimşek
Hazal is an industry analyst in AIMultiple. She is experienced in market research, quantitative research and data analytics. She received her master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Carlos III of Madrid and her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University.

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