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Our parents believed that they would work for one company for all or most of their life.  Have times ever changed!

The time when anyone stays with a company for more than a couple of years is long in the past.  Yet your company still requires the continuity of long-service employees to ensure that customers are serviced and the business continues.  

As most business people know, having well documented process and solid programs to train employees to use these processes is a powerful way to ensure that the business weathers the loss of key people.  Yet as well accepted as this proposition is, what passes for documentation in most businesses is a joke.

Typically the company's month end process for the new ERP system is documented on the Controller's steno pad or on a bunch of Post-It Notes stuck to the A/P clerk's computer.  If one of those people leave, you are in big trouble.

Modern Business is Complex 

The advent of complex computer systems for managing your business have brought incredible efficiencies.  But, they have also made well documented processes mandatory.  

In the old days, when inexperienced people were learning their jobs, mistakes were usually caught early because everything was handled on paper.  When something did not make sense someone down the line was going to question it.

Today most business transactions are done on the computer and no business has the luxury of redundant personnel to double-check every transaction.  Because businesses are running with fewer people than ever, usually only one person in the company really knows how to do the job.  When that person leaves, their replacement can't easily go to them to double-check an exception.  

Good documentation is all about capturing that key employee's brain and putting it on paper where it can be used by someone else.

Writing Good Documentation is Hard

The reason for the lack of good documentation, is that writing it is not easy.  Writing system documentation that others can pickup, read and follow is a rare skill.

Writing training and procedure documents requires more than just good  writing skills.  The person creating the documents be a good investigator.  They have to ask many questions and question the answers.  They must be able to understand when the interviewee is giving a partial answer and dig for the essential underlying detail.  Finally they must do this is a way that elicits the cooperation of the person being interviewed, rather than triggers their dark suspicions.

The writer must document not only the way things normally work, but also all of the reasonable exceptions.  After all, processes break down at the edges where exceptions occur, not in the normal day-to-day flow of business. 

The writer must also understand and be able to explain the "whys," not just the "whats."  Documentation that is unsupported by a rationale is going to be ignored.    

All of this requires people who are skilled and experienced in business, not just writing.  At Access, Excel & More™ we have years of experience in business management.  We understand the requirements of contemporary business and computer systems.  We know the questions to ask to ensure that your business is protected as well as it can be in the event a key person leaves. 

We have been creating rock-solid business-process documentation for years.  Let us help you run your business better by creating procedures and training documents that truly meet your needs.

Disaster Recovery

When you purchased your new computer system you budgeted a lot of money to ensure the reliability of the system and to guarantee that your company's precious data would not be lost.  You bought reliable servers, tape drives, RAID disk arrays, Uninterruptible power supplies and off site backup storage.  

Documentation is one more aspect of your disaster recovery strategy.  It protects you not when DATA is lost, but when you lose the even more important Knowledge.  After all, it is knowledge that makes data useful.

Contact us today to learn more