Simple, Effective Ways to Document Your Systems

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NotesDocumenting your systems is incredibly important, and surprisingly simple to do once you have a system in place.  Let me show you an outline of the system I am recommending for documenting your systems.

  1. Write down the purpose of this task.
  2. Describe what a successful completion of the task looks like.
  3. Have the employee write down, in detail, every step required to complete the task.
  4. Identify the decision points.  Make a decision tree that documents how the employee reaches a decision.
  5. List all external information that the employee must have in order to complete the task.
  6. Working with the employee, describe how the employee’s system affects your customer, both positively and negatively.
  7. Working with the employee, list possible ways the system can be improved to:
    1. be completed more efficiently and at less cost
    2. make the customers experience with more enjoyable
  8. List potential measurement indicators that can be used by management to measure the effectiveness of the system.
  9. Design a system to capture the data needed to measure results and provide timely management reports.
  10. List the skills that the employee must have in order to perform this task.  Review that this is the most logical person to do this task. (Should it be shifted to another employee or eliminated entirely?)
  11. Decide who has authority to change the final system for this task.
  12. Decide who and how often the system will be reviewed for possible change, improvement or elimination.
  13. Estimate the standard time it should take to complete this task.

For physical processes, such as assembling a product, I highly recommend recording the task using a video camera and storing it on a private YouTube channel.   When the video is added to written instructions, it greatly improves the likelihood of the task being completed accurately. 

In the case of a task that is completed using a computer, I recommend using a screen capture program. CamStudio ( is an excellent free screen capture program.  Here is an excellent YouTube video that will help you install the program and use it (