Process Documentation and Improvement Ebook

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In a lot of workplaces, particularly offices, the processes involved are not documented. Therefore, best practices are difficult to identify and foster. This ebook provides a step-by-step approach to document and thereafter improve the processes at workplace.

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Process Documentation and Improvement Ebook

  1. 1. 09
 
 Aug
 Process
Documentation
&
Improvement
 Rahul
Deodhar
 In
 a
 lot
 of
 workplaces,
 particularly
 offices,
 the
 processes
 involved
 are
 not
 documented.
 Therefore,
best
practices
are
difficult
to
identify
and
foster.
This
ebook
provides
a
step‐by‐ step
approach
to
document
and
thereafter
improve
the
processes
at
workplace.

 Rahul
Deodhar

  2. 2. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Introduction
 Factory
 floors
 of
 large
 companies
 are
 embodiment
 of
 best
 allocation
 of
 people
 and
resources
working
at
optimum
levels
on
a
consistent
basis.
Yet,
offices
often
 lack
 the
 same
 regimen.
 They
 are
 more
 people‐centric
 and
 work
 processes
 are
 more
ad‐hoc.
Some
of
the
people
and
resource
organisation
techniques
used
in
 factories
have
been
tailored
for
office
use.
Office
TPM
and
5S
have
transformed
 some
 cabins.
 The
 work‐processes,
 however,
 do
 not
 seem
 to
 get
 the
 same
 attention.
 In
my
work
life
I
have
attempted
to
identify
and
document
the
processes.
Early
 attempts
were
ad
hoc
and
led
to
development
of
a
strategy
I
outline
below.
I
used
 this
documented
strategy,
modified
versions
actually,
to
identify
and
thereafter
 improve
 office
 processes.
 The
 processes
 in
 question
 were
 often
 mundane
 like
 emails
 to
 interested
 prospective
 clients,
 or
 ignored
 like
 process
 for
 selecting
 dealers.
 
 In
 the
 three
 offices
 I
 have
 attempted
 these
 two
 were
 spectacularly
 successful.
In
the
other
case
the
processes
were
documented
but
not
improved,
a
 part
success.
 Without
further
ado,
let
me
share
with
you
the
process
itself.
 
 License

 The
 work
 can
 be
 shared
 for
 non­commercial
 use
 through
 proper
 attribution
 as
 explained
 in
 Creative
 Commons
 Attribution­Noncommercial­Share
 Alike
 3.0
 Unported
License
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  3. 3. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Objective
 The
 objective
 of
 this
 process
 is
 to
 assist
 the
 team
 in
 mapping
 the
 processes
 effectively.
This
process
lists
out
ways
and
means
to
explore,
probe
the
current
 practices
prevalent
in
the
team,
and
effectively
document
these.

 Process
Details
 Item
 Details
 Process
Name
 Process
Documentation
Process
 Process
Owner
 Person
driving
this
activity
 Process
Approver
 Team
leader
or
decision
maker
 Validation
Details
 
 Date
of
Implementation
 
 Date
of
Expiry
 
 Date
of
Modification
 
 
 Details
of
Modification
 Item
 Modification
Details
 
 
 
 
 
 
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  4. 4. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Definitions
 Following
are
some
of
the
important
definitions
used
in
this
document:
 Process
 Process
is
defined
as:
 • Human
activities
used
to
create,
invent,
design,
transform,
produce,
control,
 maintain,
and
use
products
or
systems.

 • A
 systematic
 sequence
 of
 actions
 that
 combines
 resources
 to
 produce
 an
 output.
 • A
group
of
business
activities
undertaken
by
an
organisation
in
pursuit
of
a
 common
goal.

 Typical
business
processes
include
receiving
orders,
marketing
services,
selling
 products,
 delivering
 services,
 distributing
 products,
 invoicing
 for
 services,
 accounting
for
money
received.

 A
business
process
usually
depends
upon
several
business
functions
for
support,
 e.g.
 IT,
 personnel,
 accommodation.
 A
 business
 process
 rarely
 operates
 in
 isolation,
 i.e.
 other
 business
 processes
 will
 depend
 on
 it
 and
 it
 will
 depend
 on
 other
processes
 Executor
 Executor
 is
 the
 person
 who
 is
 actually
 following
 the
 process
 to
 achieve
 the
 objective
 of
 the
 process.
 For
 a
 typical
 ‘write
 renewal
 letter’
 process
 the
 person
 who
is
writing
the
letter
will
be
“executor”.

 Players
 Players
 are
 people
 who
 are
 involved
 in
 the
 execution
 but
 who
 are
 not
 the
 executors
 of
 the
 process.
 They
 are
 not
 directly
 achieving
 the
 objectives
 of
 the
 process.
To
achieve
his
objective
“Executor”
takes
help
from
“Players”.
 Resources
 Resources
refer
to
those
resources
that
the
“executor”
and
the
“players”
use
for
 executing
the
process.
These
could
be
databases,
templates,
standard
documents
 etc.
 This
 will
 help
 us
 arrive
 at
 the
 resources
 list
 that
 we
 need
 to
 keep
 updated
 and
use
effectively
to
achieve
the
best
result
for
the
processes.
 
 
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  5. 5. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Triggers
 The
process
will
be
triggered
in
the
following
instances:
 1. Whenever
 the
 team
 undertakes
 a
 new
 responsibility
 hereto
 not
 mapped
 or
not
incorporated
within
the
process
framework.
 2. Whenever
a
break‐through
development
takes
place
within
the
team.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  6. 6. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Procedure
 1. Start
with
the
template.

 1.1. The
template
is
available
in
(location
on
company
intranet).
 2. Define
 Objective:
 Define
 clearly
 what
 the
 objective
 of
 that
 process
 is.
 In
 other
 words,
 please
 identify
 what
 the
 process
 will
 achieve
 if
 followed
 correctly.
 2.1. Please
consult
the
team
leader
if
you
have
any
problems
in
defining
the
 objective
of
the
process.
 2.2. Once
the
objective
of
the
process
is
clear,
please
name
the
process
using
 an
action
statement.
 3. Process
Details:
Enter
the
Process
Details
as
required.
 3.1. Validation
Details
will
be
filled
in
once
the
documentation
is
complete.
 3.2. The
Process
Implementation
Date
will
be
filled
in
last.
 3.3. The
Process
Validity
needs
to
be
decided
by
the
Group
when
the
Process
 map
is
presented.
 4. List
General
Steps:
Write
out
the
broad
steps
we
usually
take
in
the
process.

 4.1. Please
note
that
we
document
the
“followed”
process
and
not
the
“ideal”
 process.

 5. Preliminary
Research:

 5.1. Take
inputs
from
other
teams
across
the
company
if
required.
 5.2. Use
library
resources.
 5.3. Interactions
with
team
members.
 6. As­Is
Process
Mapping:
Understanding
what
process
is
followed
 6.1. Based
 on
 the
 broad
 steps
 design
 a
 questionnaire
 to
 be
 administered
 to
 the
team
members.
The
questionnaire
should:
 6.1.1. Identify
the
steps
that
other
team
members
follow.
 6.1.2. Probe
for
“sub‐steps”
in
each
step
and
identify
how
to
execute
each
 sub‐step.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  7. 7. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 6.1.3. Identify
 challenging
 “sub‐steps”.
 Challenging
 “sub‐steps”
 typically
 are:
 6.1.3.1. Bottleneck
resources.
 6.1.3.2. Critical
sub‐step
without
which
the
process
fails
to
achieve
 its
objective.
 6.1.3.3. Identify
how
to
overcome
these
challenges.
 6.1.4. Ask
how
team
members
take
the
process
forward
in
absence
of
the
 executor.
The
questionnaire
should
seek
ways
and
means
to
make
 the
process
work
in
the
absence
of
the
executor.
 6.2. Administer
the
questionnaire
to
the
team.
 6.2.1. Please
note
that
the
questionnaire
/
interview
should
not
bias
the
 interviewee
about
the
learning
from
other
teams
and
from
books.

 6.2.1.1. If
there
is
some
glaring
improvement
you
have
learnt
from
 other
sources
ask
the
same
at
the
last.
 6.2.1.2. The
objective
is
first
to
understand
what
we
do
then
to
find
 out
why
we
do
not
use
those
“improvements”.
 6.2.2. Administer
to
all
the
team
members
if
required.
 6.2.3. Administer
to
at
least
two
people
from
sub‐teams
if
any.
 6.3. Get
all
the
templates
used
by
team
members
 6.4. Identify
all
the
players
in
the
process.
 6.5. Identify
all
the
resources
in
the
process
 6.6. Compile
the
responses
from
the
team.
 7. Finalize
the
process
 7.1. Please
document
the
process
as
currently
followed.
 7.1.1. First
make
the
process
flow
chart.
Use
the
connectors
to
connect

 7.1.2. Then
write
the
details.
 7.1.3. Show
 both
 to
 the
 approver
 before
 you
 present
 the
 same
 to
 the
 group.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  8. 8. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 7.1.4. Number
each
box
in
the
flow
diagram
and
develop
the
text
based
 on
 this
 sequence.
 Sub
 process
 should
 be
 numbered
 as
 1.1,
 1.2
 or
 1.11,
1.1.1,
1.2.1
and
so
on.
 7.2. Please
document
the
suggested
improvements
separately.
 8. Design
Metrics
 8.1. Metrics
are
used
to
measure
how
well
we
can
adhere
to
the
process.
 8.2. Please
note
first
the
process
is
documented
then
metrics
are
designed.
 8.3. The
 philosophy
 behind
 designing
 a
 metric
 is
 that
 it
 is
 meant
 for
 self‐ improvement
and
not
for
“policing”.
 8.4. As
mentioned
the
metrics
are
of
four
types:
 8.4.1. Quality
Metrics
 8.4.2. Efficiency
Metrics
 8.4.3. Control
Metrics
 8.4.4. Result
Metrics.
 8.5. Identify
what
we
need
to
measure
 8.6. Consult
 the
 team
 members
 and
 brainstorm
 to
 arrive
 at
 means
 to
 measure
the
items
listed
by
earlier
step.
 8.7. Apply
the
SMART
test
on
each
of
the
metric.
 8.8. Share
the
metrics
and
the
SMART
test
findings
with
a
few
team
members.
 (Preferably
those
whom
you
have
interviewed
earlier)
 8.9. Develop
all
the
metrics
you
can
think
of.
 8.10. Map
all
the
metrics
on
the
process
flow
chart.
 9. Design
Review
Mechanism
 9.1. The
review
mechanism
will
be
across
process
itself
and
metrics.
 9.2. Identify
parameters
that
will
need
review
based
on
your
understanding.
 These
parameters
should
address:
 9.2.1. Role
Clarification
for
roles
of
all
the
players
in
the
process.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  9. 9. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 9.2.2. Resource
usage.
 9.3. Identify
 time
 required
 to
 review
 the
 process.
 Set
 trigger
 to
 alert
 before
 process
expiry.
 9.4. Feedback
based
reviews
will
depend
upon
the
kind
of
feedback
received.
 They
would
be
devised
in
consultation
with
the
director
and
the
heads.
 10. Make
the
presentation
to
the
group.
 10.1. Present
the
entire
process
in
detail
along
with
the
sub‐step.
 10.2. Explain
each
sub‐step.
 10.3. Highlight
 the
 challenging
 Sub‐steps
 along
 with
 solutions
 to
 overcome
or
execute
those.
 10.4. Present
 all
 the
 templates
 used
 by
 the
 team
 members
 in
 this
 process.
 10.5. Present
 some
 innovative
 steps
 others
 follow
 based
 on
 step
 5.
 Let
 the
group
decide
which
steps
to
incorporate
into
the
process.
 10.6. Present
all
the
metrics
let
the
group
decide
which
to
keep.
 10.6.1. Metrics
need
to
be
whetted
by
team
leaders,
Heads
and
Directors
 separately.
 10.7. Get
the
commitment
on
the
Implementation
Date.

 10.7.1. Work
 based
 on
 changes
 to
 be
 made
 in
 the
 document
 based
 on
 group
input.
 10.7.2. Time
required
for
circulating
the
documentation.

 10.7.3. Also
 factor
 time
 for
 queries
 and
 general
 familiarization
 with
 the
 steps.
 10.8. Get
groups
opinion
on
Process
expiry
date.
 11. Revising
the
Process
Document
 11.1. Based
 on
 the
 suggestions
 of
 the
 group
 review
 the
 documentation
 and
update
the
same.
 11.2. Share
the
updated
documents
with
Approver.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  10. 10. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 11.3. Print
out
of
the
finalized
process.
 12. Implementing
the
Process:
This
step
involves
key
activities
to
be
done
after
 all
the
documentation
is
complete.
 12.1. Process
Book
Reference
 12.1.1. The
documents
must
be
approved
and
signed
by
the
approver.
 12.1.2. Once
the
same
is
done.
Convert
the
same
into
PDF.
 12.1.3. Make
a
separate
PDF
for
the
process
flow
chart.
 12.1.4. Send
these
to
all
the
team
members
with
instructions
to
keep
the
 printout
of
the
process
flow
chart
as
a
ready
reference.
 
 
 
 
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  11. 11. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Metrics
 It
is
important
to
measure
the
process
documentation.
These
are
following
 metrics
are
proposed
for
the
current
process.
 Quality
Metrics
 Metric
 Scale
 Rating
 Comment
 Clarity
of
Objective
 Yes
/
No
 
 
 Upgradeability

 Yes
/
No
 
 
 Workable
 Solution
 V/s
 Ideal
 Yes
/
No
 
 
 Solution
 Minimal
Paperwork
 Yes
/
No
 
 
 Documentation
Complete?
 Yes
/
No
 
 
 
 Efficiency
Metrics
 Metric
 Scale
 Rating
 Comment
 Time
Spent

 
 
 
 Desk
Research
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 Designing
Questionnaire
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 Meeting
 Other
 team
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 members
 Meeting
the
team
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 Process
Documentation
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 Presentation
 Low
/
Ok
/
Hi
 
 
 
 Control
Metrics
 Metric
 Scale
 Rating
 Comment
 Questionnaire
completion
date
 Days
 
 4
days
 Interview
completion
date
 Days
 
 5
days
 Approver
Submission
Date
 Date
 
 
 Presentation
Date
 Date
 
 
 
 Result
Metrics
 Metric
 Scale
 Rating
 Comment
 Process
Accepted
by
Approver
 Changes
 
 
 Minor/Major
 Process
Accepted
by
Group
 Changes
 
 
 Minor/Major
 
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  12. 12. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Process
Flow
Diagram
 Guidelines
for
making
Process
flow
diagram:
 1) The
Process
will
be
indicated
in
a
box.

 2) Each
box
is
numbered.

 a. If
 the
 process
 given
 to
 you
 is
 numbered
 x
 then
 each
 box
 within
 this
 process
will
be
numbered
x.1,
x.2,..x.9,x.10,x.11,
etc.
 b. Sub
processes
(sub‐steps
within
the
main
box)
will
be
numbered
as
x.1.1,
 x.1.2,
etc.
 3) As
mentioned
first
make
the
box
and
line
chart
and
each
box
will
be
explained
in
 the
procedure
section.
 4) If
explanation
for
a
box
is
lengthy
and
tedious,
break
it
into
sub‐activities.
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com

  13. 13. Process
Documentation
and
Improvement
Ebook
 
 Process
flow
diagram
for
Documenting
Processes
 
 1.1
 1.2
 1.3
 Start
with
the
template
 Define
Process
Objective
 Fill
in
Process
Details
 1.5
 1.4
 Preliminary
Research
 List
General
Steps
 1.6
 1.7
 1.8
 As
is
Process
Mapping
 Finalize
Process
 Design
Metrics
 1.6.1
 Design
Questionnaire
 1.9
 Design
Review
Mechanism
 1.6.2
 Administer
Questionnaire
 1.10
 1.6.3
 Present
to
the
team
 Get
Templates
used
 1.6.4
 1.11
 Identify
Players
 Revise
based
on
Feedback
 1.6.5
 Identify
Resources
 1.12
 Implement
the
Process
 1.6.6
 Compile
team
responses
 ©
Rahul
Deodhar
2009
 www.rahuldeodhar.com


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