Documenting processes

Documenting processes may not be your top priority in the everyday cut and thrust of business, but a lack of agreed, consistent procedures can expose you to risk in the longer term, according to ETOS Executive Director and Board Member, Lesley Mitchell.

“Often companies only realise the true value of well-documented procedures once they are scrambling to cover a key member of staff who has left unexpectedly, or they are having a bumpy ride during an audit. It’s much better to mitigate operational risk by capturing process detail before there’s a problem,” said Lesley.

The devil’s in the detail

From an operational perspective, well-written, accurate procedures act as day-to-day steering documents for staff but it’s important to capture the right level of complexity to suit your business. For some, a high level approach may work but if you really want to take risk out of your operations, it’s important to drill down to the detail.

And of course, you can’t improve operational processes if you haven’t gone through the steps of capturing and documenting them. “Gaps in staff training or induction can also be identified by taking a close look at the day-to-day reality of the way your business is conducted. And when you have identified specific gaps, it’s much easier to design effective training programmes to fill them and prevent performance problems.”

Need help?

Targeting and prioritising the procedures that remove the most risk is a good way to start. If you need help to review existing processes or to priorities and document effective procedures for your business, ETOS can help.

“We work across multiple sectors helping a wide range of organisations. Our clients really value the best practice knowledge that we bring to a project. ETOS can review your procedures as part of a Treasury Health Check or as a stand-alone project — capturing, amending and building efficiencies into your operation,” said Lesley.

Long-standing client, T&G Global has seen the benefits of ETOS’ rigorous approach: “ETOS act as an independent touchstone, bringing in the latest best practice,” said Doug Bygrave, Treasurer at T&G Global. “Their specialist knowledge has really helped us to optimise our internal processes — and it’s taken a massive chunk of our day-to-day work away, giving T&G more time to focus on strategic matters.”

If you’d like to find out more about documenting procedures, give ETOS a call.