Before computers and voicemail became a staple of every person’s desk, cross-training occurred so that all jobs/tasks would be covered when individuals took vacation and personal time off. But technology has changed that and cross-training is often overlooked within organizations.
But what if you really did get hit by a bus on the way home tonight? Would your co-workers know the ins and outs of your job? Would they know how and where to check on the status of your projects? Documenting processes and procedures not only keep you on track while you’re working on a project, but also serve as a way to build-in back-ups when necessary.
What sort of tasks do you frequently do in your job that could become more efficient should you decide to create a checklist for it or document the process in some form?
Here is the checklist I use for every speaking engagement I book.
- Send Contract, W-9 and Deposit Invoice
- Enter client into ACT database and Outlook
- Connect with client on LinkedIn
- 2 months out – Book travel: air, hotel, ground transportation
- 2 months out – Submit article to client for in-house publications or online use
- 1 month out – Print Handouts or send client Handout .pdf for in-house copying
- 1 Week Prior- Call Meeting Planner – Review event details – Confirm final payment
- 1 Week Prior – Send invoice for final payment
- 1 Day After – Send Thank-you note to client
- 1 Day After – Add engagement to Tracking Sheet
- 1 Day After – Invoice for Travel/Handouts
- 1 Week after Event – Call Client to discuss evaluations/testimonials
- 2 months after event – Send them a 2nd article to use in-house or online
Whether you work in a department of individuals all doing similar work or you’re the lone ranger in your role, standardization is important for several reasons.
- If you get hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow, your job can be carried on thanks to systems and processes appropriately documented.
- You become more efficient at doing your job. You get more done with less effort.
- Error rates go down because a standardized process becomes a reliable process.
- Routines become habits. These routines can be documented via checklists, flowcharts, Excel spreadsheets or even posters.