Learn the most important tips for letting go of tasks and delegating to your staff
Businesses create processes to improve overall operational performance and increase workforce efficiencies. Processes are very useful in all areas of an organisation but oftentimes, they are poorly planned and structured. This causes confusion when different employees need to go through a process of a specific area of the business and there is no flow of the process. As a result, accuracy and consistency is highly affected.
Workflow VS Business Process
Most financial planning firms have some form of workflows. A workflow basically represents the approach on what needs to happen (set of tasks) to complete a piece of work (often specific to a client like a review meeting).
Meanwhile, a business process teaches us how to do each task in the workflow. Business process documentation is the process of creating materials containing manuals (ours are all online) and step-by-step guides of completing tasks and processes and provide tips and checklist to follow to ensure a consistent outcome for completing a series of task in a workflow.
Both of these work together to make a more efficient and systematic business operation. On our experience, firms usually rely on a lot of assumed knowledge on how to do tasks when they hire a staff. Therefore, it takes a long time to get someone confident and independent in completing workflows (not to mention a lot of handholding).
How to document your business process?
In VBP, we follow a standard process in documentation:
- Complete Workbook. The workbook allows you to think about your business process and create an outline of the process.
- Create Flowchart. By creating a visual flowchart or a swim lane diagram, we get clarity on who’s responsible for each step of the process.
- Client Training. All training sessions will be recorded for future references and will show a step-by-step demonstration of how the process is being completed.
- Edit and Save Videos. All videos will be edited. VBP will remove all unnecessary parts of the training video and retain only the important parts that are relevant to the topic being discussed making it easier and faster to reference in the future.
- Create manuals. In addition to the videos, manuals will also be created for the CSRs to easily browse through the manual if there is a particular step they need to review.
- Upload Materials to the Intranet. All of the training materials including your templates, reference material, links, videos, and manuals will be in uploaded to one centralised location–the client intranet. This will be the main resource of your CSR when completing tasks for you.
- Client Sign Off. After all of these have been completed, a link to your intranet will be sent to you for you to review the content.
Once everything is documented a process should have 6 key elements:
How does process documentation benefit your business?
There are 5 main advantages of business process documentation:
- Tasks are completed exactly how you need them to be completed.
- If you need to take leave from work, someone else can cover for you and help with your tasks.
- Easily share task instructions with colleagues and new hires.
- It increases efficiency as it’s easier to keep track of the progress of a task/project and identify any blockages along the way.
- It adds value to the business especially when you consider purchasing, as it will be easier to integrate new business into your documented processes. In the same way when you plan to sell your business, having a structured and well documented process can add significant value to potential purchaser.
Some tools we use for documentation include: Zoom to hold client training or meetings, Snagit to record all training sessions, Camtasia to edit videos, Screensteps to create manuals, Lucid Chart to create process flow charts and Google Sites to host client intranet.
When a workflow is properly documented with clear business processes, the main benefit is, it is much faster to get a new staff member up and running as they have more confidence around the work being done.
Whether you are considering outsourcing or wanting to scale your business with internal staff, this statement holds true “Customise the Advice, Sytemise the Process”.