Keep Your Processes Organized In a Process Library

Written By: Denise O'Berry
October 14, 2015
3 min read

Management of business processes can get out of hand if you don’t have a way to organize them. Setting up and monitoring a process library helps solve this problem.

When you decide to put a priority on having a process focused business, tackling the process documentation task can seem daunting.

You don’t want to start documenting your business processes without having a plan for monitoring and managing them. Before you start, it’s a good idea to begin with the end in mind.

Use the “C cubed” concept to help you organize your efforts.

  • Categories – Determine how you will categorize your business processes.
  • Controls – Identify who can do what with the documented processes.
  • Coordination – Establish a team to manage ongoing activities.

Categorize Using What Makes Sense For Your Business

There’s no “one” right way to categorize business processes. What’s going to work for your business may be totally off base for another. The key to categorization is to use a method that makes good, logical sense to the people who will be using it.

If you create some fancy method that boggles the mind of your workforce, you’ll end up with a dusty old process library that never gets used. And that’s never a good thing.

Here are a few ideas for methods to categorize your processes.

  • Functional Area – There are clear and distinct functions in most businesses that can be used to categorize the processes in your library. Common functions include finance, customer service, marketing, human resources, IT, and operations.
  • Division / Department – Setting up categories by division or department may make sense for you if there are clear process boundaries.
  • Value Chain – A popular system developed by Michael Porter, the value chain separates a business into strategically relevant activities that focus on the direct sources that provide a competitive advantage.

Determine What Controls Should Be Established

Once you have your business processes defined and finalized, they’ll be placed in your process library. This repository should be accessible to everyone who needs the information, but have controls in place.

You may decide on giving one role master rights and universal permissions, along with providing different access and permission levels for other roles that have different requirements. You may also want to further identify key roles for specific categories of your process library to lighten the load on the master librarian.

Also consider defining a governance policy that details controls along with quality standards and review processes.

Be careful not to create a monster here. Keep it as simple as you possibly can while setting controls that will help you manage it properly.

Establish A Team To Coordinate Process Management

Finalizing your business processes and adding them to a library isn’t the last step you’ll take when you are setting up a processed focused business. It’s actually the first.

It’s a good idea to establish a team that will coordinate ongoing process management. Often team members are designated from key functional areas to ensure the broad spectrum of the company is represented.

This team would establish the initial controls and governance, then meet on a regular basis to discuss and resolve ongoing process management issues.

Written By: Denise O'Berry
Denise O’Berry gets a lot of joy from helping businesses improve day-to-day operations that impact the bottom line. Not only does her advice come from the heart, it comes from years of experience working as a team member, team leader, manager and owner of her own company. She has truly walked in your shoes. Find her at DeniseOBerry.com and on Twitter @deniseoberry.