Business processes and work operations take place daily in organizations. As the word “Organization” itself carries the word “organize”, you can imagine how the steps for a specific business process should be carried out in a sequence. This work arrangement is established through pre-defined outlines and document templates. When it comes to business processes, all steps of those operations are written and arranged in a detailed report. This process preservation involves the usage of process documentation templates. But how do you define a process documentation template? Find out:
What is a Process Template?
Process documentation templates are pre-defined templates with brief outlines that cover the whole business work process for documentation purposes. A process documentation template can also be named a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to write the procedure and instructions of business processes. Organizations can have their own standard operating procedures and documentation templates.
A document that contains the definition of process tasks and steps to carry out those tasks, is called a business process document. An outline with empty sections referring to process flow is named a process documentation template.
What are the Best Process Documentation Templates?
Check some resources that offer the best templates for process documentation:
Employees come and go in a business, but the processes remain the same. It is difficult to individually guide an employee about the work procedures and operations. Process documentation helps you train your new employee. You can document your business process with documentation templates offered by Nuclino.
Nuclino is a unified workspace where users can collaborate and work on internal documents, hire new employees, and manage projects. Nuclino provides a range of documentation templates like standard operating procedure templates, product specification templates, and job description templates. Here’s its pricing scheme for an individual worker:
Price: $6/month and $60/Year
Free Trial: 14 days
For more information and to download documentation templates, visit Nuclino.
Smartsheet is a dynamic business workspace that allows business employees and teams to efficiently collaborate and manage projects.
Smartsheet offers free templates for process documentation in Microsoft Word and Excel format. Here’s the purchase plan for an individual user for Smartsheet:
Price: $9/month and $84/year
Free Trial: Yes
Visit Smartsheet to find pricing schemes for enterprises.
Venngage is an online platform that offers numerous business document templates for business use. Venngage is trusted by Google, Harvard University, Hubspot, and Airbnb.
Venngage allows you to customize templates for process documentation. You can also create infographics in your process documents through Venngage. If you’re a documentation manager, you can consider purchasing the premium plan to access all premium templates.
Free Trial: No
You can sign up for free on Venngage. For more information, visit Venngage.
Slite offers you free process documentation templates. It provides its users with multiple business templates like the performance documentation template and process documentation template.
You can edit and customize templates inside Slite and can also export them to PDF. Slite offers you free access to 50 documents, while you can have a look at the below-mentioned pricing to access more than 50 templates:
Free Trial: Yes
For more information regarding services and templates, head towards Slite.
You can find useful process document templates from Creately. Download the Creately app to get access to templates on your cell phone.
Creately allows you to edit and customize the templates. You can access and edit all templates for free, but Creately requires you to upgrade your plan to export your documents to PNG, JPEG, and PDF formats. Here’s the pricing plan for Creately:
Price: $6.95/month and $48/year
Free trial: Yes
For information on the enterprise uses, visit Creately.
Here are written some of the frequently asked questions regarding process documentation templates:
What is Process Documentation?
Process documentation is a method to write the business work process in an organized manner. As a business grows, there’s a dire need to ensure that all processes are properly documented. If you are a businessman, you will require to safeguard all ongoing document processes and workflows not only to have them as a business record but also for the comprehension of process scope to employees and team members. Hence, the need for process documents has increased lately in the business world.
The larger is the business organization, the more business workers are involved. The more the workers, the more the processes can get complex. Hence, documentation of processes plays a major role to reduce this workflow complexity.
Many startups fail with this consideration that ‘the things will naturally fall into their place’. Work requirements are never fulfilled on their own. Have you ever seen a business grow where there’s no work arrangement, no sequence, and no process documentation? Such working mindsets only bring downfall to a business. This is the very major reason that business documentation is necessary, no matter how small the business is.
Process documentation improves the work efficiency of business employees and also boosts productivity in operations. You should compile the normal process flow in a written report to get boosted results.
A process document help to identify the inefficiencies in business processes. So, if you’re starting a business, it is necessary you realize the importance of documentation.
What are the Advantages of Process Documentation?
Documentation of processes is a professional step for business owners. Most business startups owners ignore the need for process documentation and the business shatters. They end up giving on to the idea of a business startup. If you are also standing at that falling edge, it is recommended that you check whether your processes are documented or not. Here are mentioned advantages of documentation, and the reasons that why you should consider it beneficial for your business:
When a process is completely documented, you can identify where it fails to provide the desired efficiency. Try writing the complete process flows with the tasks involved to identify the process issues. This way you can optimize the process and also workflow.
Documentation helps achieve work consistency which leads to better performance and operational consistency for processes and operations. If a process is not documented then every time the process repeats, there will be some unwanted inventions. This way a process may evolve each time it occurs, and thus leads towards failure due to those unwanted changes. So, document your business process and make it a mandatory ritual for employees to follow those steps.
Preserve the Company’s Knowledge and Business Processes
Updating is necessary but not all processes require updates. Documentation of processes helps preserve the existing knowledge of the company.
Business data preservation is useful for new employees. Documenting processes help preserve that data. When new employees get on board, train your employees with that documentation. This way, you can familiarize the employees with the work processes they are responsible for.
Process documentation maps huge processes under a single framework. It helps team workers belonging to different departments fall under one roof and understand the collaborative projects seamlessly.
You can hire business analysts to work on improving the mapped workflows. This way a deep business analysis can be made, and it will result in growing your business to a more profitable business.
Process mapping is not just limited to these advantages. You can see a visible change in profit figures through business documentation.
How do I Document a Process Template?
Follow these steps to create process documentation for your business:
1. Write Process Name
Process identification is a vital part of documentation. Identify the processes that need documentation. Find the technical names of those processes and list them for your records.
2. Gather Information
Research the processes and familiarize yourself with them. There are always some useful documents revolving in a particular work department that carries background information and the processing purpose. Make sure you gather all those documents along with the required information that is useful for documenting the processes. Don't forget to research the process scope.
3. Define Process Boundaries
Boundaries relate to goals. Identify process goals and set boundaries. Identify all those factors that start a specific work process. Find a starting point. Clarify how and when a process ends.
4. Identify the Inputs and Outputs
Identify and note all necessary resources that help initiate a process. Mention the process inputs in the documentation. Narrate the process outcome, products, and services you get as a result of that process happening.
5. List the Steps
Write down each involved operation in a step-by-step manner with the business document draft you have made till this point.
6. List the Exceptions
A process can occur in multiple ways and there are always some exceptions. Don’t forget to mention those exceptions.
7. Organize the Information Sequentially
Organizing the obtained information allows you to create a flowchart and infographic for the processes. Design those infographics with the help of the graphic designer's team for clear instructions.
8. Mention the Worker’s Roles and Responsibilities
A process with multiple operations involves more than one worker. It is necessary to mention the name of the workers handling a specific operation in process documentation.
9. Visualize the Process
Graphics and flowcharts do wonders in visualizing a process. A business process documentation can have process flowcharts to describe operations in a sequential form. A process flowchart also helps put a complex process into a single framework.
10. Analyze and Review
Double-check the mentioned information. Review the final document in a meeting with the team members to bring them all on the same page. Finalize all steps with acknowledgment of employees.
Follow these process steps to develop a process documentation guide. After finalizing this guide, this documented process is tested. If successful, the documentation is made official and is spread to the workers. This process documentation works as a standard operating procedure guide for that employees. It also serves as a training book for new workers.
All of the above-mentioned resources provide great process documentation templates. As all processes are not the same, hence are the documentation templates You can go through the mentioned resources to hunt the best documentation template for you.
A document where all the processes for an operation are listed is called a business process document. Process documentation is necessary so that operations are documented and arranged in a sequential manner. If you plan to target better business efficiency, process documentation can do wonders. Analyze those processes, and we’re sure it will guide you where you are lacking and at what points you should pay attention to improve your work. This way, your business team members can also benefit from process management and documentation.
If you are new to documentation and technical writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Technical Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals and advanced skills of process documentation.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.