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Process Documentation: The Ultimate Guide

Process documentation, as the name suggests, is all about writing down the steps within a process. It can include visualizations, such as images and flowcharts, in addition to details about the departments, people, and resources involved in a process.

Organizations often go to great lengths to develop efficient processes but neglect to dedicate much effort to recording the details within these processes. Some organizations don’t prioritize process documentation because it often isn’t customer-focused, while others simply don’t want to spend the time necessary to write down the information.

However, when integrated within your organization’s culture, process documentation can provide great benefits for your employees, management, and customers. In this guide, we cover the importance of process documentation and explain why you need it in your business.

Take a look at the chapter summaries for a quick overview of each section, and then read up on each area for actionable details you can apply to your organization today.

Chapter synopsis

Introduction.

Why process documentation is important. Most processes rely on the knowledge and experience of your employees. What happens when they aren’t there to complete a process? To ensure someone else can step in, your organization needs process documentation. Other benefits of process documentation include operational consistency and resource reduction.

Tips to start documenting processes. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry — we cover all the details, from understanding the nature of the process to speaking with subject matter experts to distributing the documentation. You’ll find helpful advice to start documenting processes in this chapter.

How to document trade secrets. If you’re worried that writing down confidential information may be risky, you’re not alone. We’ve got advice on how to protect your trade secrets while still creating process documentation to help your employees. Learn about access, software security, data collection, and nondisclosure agreements in this chapter.

Different types of process documentation. Depending on your industry or department, your process documentation may have specific criteria. For example, the process documentation for human resources is quite different from that of quality assurance. Learn the nuances in this chapter.

Process documentation best practices. Should you use active or passive language? Should you use numbered lists or bulleted lists? What about linking to additional resources or processes within the document? We cover all of the best practices to ensure you create comprehensive and useful documentation.

Make process documentation easy with templates. If multiple people within your organization are writing process documents, you can ensure consistency and accuracy with templates. Jotform can help not only collect data but also transform that data into polished documents.

Ready to dive in? First up, we’re going to cover why process documentation is so important for your organization. Then we’ll move on to how you can get started.

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