Spend Now, Receive Later – The Ongoing Value of Documented Processes

I own two businesses – my consultancy and an e-tailer of kayaking gear. The latter, Outdoorplay, migrated to a cloud-based software package called NetSuite in early 2010. From the very beginning we required everyone to document the various business processes they learned about the NetSuite system. Google Docs was used to share the process sheets amongst ourselves. Now, one year later, we have a complete library of How-Tos on almost every feature we use in NetSuite.

When we hired a new employee recently, we had her review the applicable process sheets before digging into the software. Then, while she was coming up to speed, she referred to the process sheets to guide her way. The net results were faster learning by her and fewer questions to be answered by others = 2x productivity! 

Here are the basic steps to getting this right the first time and keeping it right over time.