Jeanne Brown, Chair of the Board of Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence (RMPEx) helps organizations improve performance and achieve results through the Baldridge criteria. She is a quality management and performance excellence professional with more than 30 years of leadership experience in the high technology and utilities industries.  Three simple steps to freedom are defining, writing down, and keeping current the processRobert Galvin of Motorola said, “To get the process exactly right is going to be cheaper and it is going to be better.” He received one of the first Malcolm Baldrige Awards.  “Common knowledge grows the entire organization towards the goal of excellence,” say Brown.  This can be accomplished by having a central repository that is accessible to anyone.  The bottom line is that, “taking time, money and materials out of the process and streamlining them but still maintaining a high level of quality and service for customers will increase profits,” Brown.

These 12 steps are good reasons to document, provided by Jeanne Brown:

  1. Establishes a Baseline from which to improve - this creates a point of reference for where you are now and which direction you need to go to improve your process.
  2. Streamlines and standardizes training - when the process is clearly defined, training is easy, and everybody is doing the job the same way.
  3. Keeps everyone current - in a document control system, there is revision control that assures everyone is using the most recent document.
  4. Captures subject matter expertise for the benefit of all – it is important to capture expertise from knowledgeable individuals.
  5. Assures smoother transition during change - proper documents provide a stable foundation when people move to other jobs or organizations.
  6. Frees up time & energy for innovation & creativity - once you have the basic directions, you and others will be able to look at ways to move forward rather than spend time learning the basics over and over.
  7. 7.    Reduces and eliminates redundancy - documenting the process helps to identify places where there may be duplicated efforts or steps.
  8. Identifies and fills in any gaps in the current process - as you document, you may discover places where things might drop through the cracks.
  9. Clearly defines resource requirements - defining responsibilities in the documents helps everyone know exactly what the job requires.
  10. Reduces risk on the job - clearly defined processes lead to concise and useful training, which helps to reduce the risk to the employee.
  11. Provides a document change history for future reference - the document control system will provide a method to research a past event and determine the process that was being used at that time.
  12. Offers a one-stop-shop for an organization’s work activities - the central location for controlled documents allows for cross-function learning and sharing.

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