- Gap Assessment
- Tricia Heibel
What Is The ROI On Documentation?
- Tricia Heibel
- 23 June 2015
Writing things down is what I do. Starting with childhood diaries and journals and progressing into never-ending lists – grocery list, shopping list, to-do list – I always have a pen and paper around to jot something down. I’ll often ask “email me that” or “send me a text” because I know if it’s not written down I’m not going to remember it.
Writing has also translated into a key skill set within my career. Both as an employee and a consultant I have written more business documents than I could even count! From correspondence to sales proposals, marketing materials to process documents, training materials to policy & procedure manuals, job descriptions to handbooks – I’ve helped companies define, map out and document processes covering nearly every aspect and component of their business.
So when I was working with a Senior Vice President of Operations once who stated, “There is no ROI in documentation.” – I was rendered speechless. No ROI!? What?!? Who doesn’t see the value in writing things down?! … No ROI??
In case you, too, may be confused about where the ROI in documentation comes from, I hope this gives you pause for consideration as it is by no means all-inclusive…
Time Savings. Writing things down saves so much time, it should be on the list 5 times. Each of the below items ultimately tie back to highlight another time savings for the company. Read on to see why…
Reduce redundancy. How many times do you have to tell someone something? I don’t know, but I DO know it’s a lot less if it’s accompanied by written documentation. From on-the-job training to employee coaching – writing things down provides a physical reference to a discussion, decision and action that everyone has and is clear on and they can refer back to it if there is any future question.
Eliminate confusion. Documentation provides clarity and promotes consistency with action and standardization. Creating and distributing training guides, reference materials, cheat-sheets, contact lists, checklists and other process materials.
Make a decision. Some things bring us a feeling of dread, often in work these are illogical and unfounded – they are the to-do items that we move from day to day and week to week because we don’t want to do them. I often see decisions regarding company policy and procedure fall into this category. Many fear that putting things into writing is like chiseling them into stone and they cannot change them. This is not true. Creating process documentation gives you a starting point to work from. It shows where you are and allows you to make ongoing adjustments as needed until you’ve fine-tuned the process. You just have to start somewhere, and you start with writing it down.
Stay productive and efficient. Providing clear documentation (and training) on requirements, process adherence, job responsibilities, expectations, and repercussions doesn’t leave much room for error. With everyone clear on their role – what they are to do and how they are to do it – and with clear information and direction provided on how to handle anything outside of that scope of work, you’ve created a smooth operation and a productive workforce which helps to eliminate service variations by employee, shift or location.
What is it that you’ve been putting off defining, documenting, mapping out or writing down? Sometimes bringing in an outside resource, both for the extra hands as well as eyes on the process, can be just what you need to jump start the project.
Contact CH Consulting Group to discuss your project specifics!