Processes are ever evolving and take constant assessment and work to keep up to date, but they have a multitude of benefits that make investing time and money into them worth it. Not only do they keep action items on track and projects organized, but they improve the efficiency of the executing team members completing the work.
What is the benefit of having process documentation?
Having processes in place and documented in a shared space allows team members to view the entire process from beginning to end, inform themselves of standard processes for common work, and can become more comfortable as they execute. But as we all know, no process is ever final. Deadlines change, deliverables are updated, and the executing steps need the flexibility to react and change just as quickly.
Having processes documented and templated allows for our team to jump in and adjust at any time, not only for individual projects but for our templated processes as well. It also allows for Project Management teams to have a better window into the workload of all executing team members. An article by Drew, Benefits of Process Management In Marketing Agencies, outlines that not only are the results more visible and accurate but there is an increase in employee productivity when processes are in place because team members know exactly what work to work on next.
Having the processes documented and templatized also allows for cross-department understanding and collaboration. Not only is it important for the executing team members to understand the process for their work but having insights of additional team members that aren’t necessarily on the project can provide additional insight and a new perspective. The cross-department understanding has allowed our team to serve our clients more effectively and efficiently. Further, understanding our services, processes, and expectations with each deliverable.
Tips to adapt to evolving process documentation in marketing
Building a process is never as easy as you would think. Generally, you work through the day, executing on items as they are on your work plate or as the project needs are identified, but when it comes time to put pen to paper (or words on the keyboard), truly identifying the steps that you do to execute can be hard.
#1. Start somewhere
How granular do you get? Can you combine one step with another? Are you using too few or too many words to explain what the step is? It can feel overwhelming when trying to outline a new process or changes to an existing process. But, these questions or concerns can’t be answered until you at least have something in place, to begin with.
#2. Assess the process often
To improve the process, knowing how and when to assess the process, its successes, gaps, and struggles are important. As the process is executed, it is important to make notes of any issues that you see. Also communicating with the executing team members if they are experiencing struggles. Should other team members be involved in the process? Are we missing a crucial step that should be documented? Making sure to ask these questions, serves as another area for process improvement. On top of benefiting the Project Manager, the team, and the clients in the long run.
#3. Don’t be afraid to change the process and try new things
The benefit of processes, especially templated ones, is that your process can always change. Not one process is going to work for each project. The process is ever-evolving and changing based on a multitude of factors. It’s important to adapt to a better process when the new process leads to a higher outcome of success. While changes in process documentation in marketing come with many moving parts, if you are not open to change the likelihood of failure is often higher.
Utilizing tools to follow the marketing documentation process
Processes can be documented in a variety of ways and a variety of locations. Not one place could ever be considered “right” or “the best”, but making sure that place is accessible, and the standard is the important part. We use a Project Management system that allows us to keep all of our projects in one place, monitor and execute those projects, review efficiency and reports, and most importantly, create and alter project process templates as we grow as a company.
Our processes are documented in tasks, but some different platforms and tools allow for visual flowcharts as well. There are some instances where we have utilized process mapping for training materials. This article written by Lucid Chard, the tool we use for our process mapping, details what process mapping is, the benefits, and how to create a success map. This goes to show that there isn’t one standard way or place the process should be documented. Ensuring the processes are documented somewhere is an important factor.
Overall, each person and company have a way of managing their work and projects. Identifying and documenting the process has been beneficial and crucial to our team as we have continued to grow and expand. We continue to modify our processes and keep our executors on track, making for efficient and organized employees and happy clients!