Developing process documentation

Document processes to:

  •  agree on the way you do your work
  • define decision making boundaries and give people freedom to act within them.

Good process documentation should

  •  make sure work practices are safe for people and the environment
  • reduce variation in processes by standardising work practices
  • provide a safe and stable platform for improvement where change can be scientifically measured.

 Developing process documentation

The best way to develop process documentation is to involve the people who do the process. This gives them input into the way work is done, engaging them in the process and increasing the likelihood of compliance with the documentation.

 1.Record how work is done now

Record what is actually happening rather than what supervisors think is happening. Be real. You may need to ask provoking questions to get to the bottom of a process.

 2.Agree on the best practice

Get people, supervisors and workers, to talk about the best way of working. Get different shifts and sections talking. The output will be a defined process that all agree to follow.

 3.Work to achieve a stable process

Verify that practices outlined in the process document are being used. When deviations are observed, take action to find the cause and return to the agreed practice.r change the CBP.

 4.Experiment with ideas using scientific methodology

Try out improvement ideas, one at a time, and note the effects.

 5.Update the process documentation

Include ideas that have been scientifically validated.

 Which processes should you document?

Aim to get the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ when documenting processes. Don’t get sucked into “if it moves, document it”. Ask these questions:

  1.  How can we ensure the safety of our people? of the environment?
  2. How can we better satisfy our customers? What part of the process is involved?
  3. Does one part of the process depend on another?