In any organization, making sure tasks are done in a certain way is critical for success. Or in other words, you need a process documentation system in place to ensure team members are up to speed, procedures are efficient and that the company is profitable.
But if you’re not familiar with how to create a process document, these 20+ process documentation templates can help. You can easily customize a template using Venngage’s easy-to-edit templates and drag-and-drop editor, either by yourself or with your colleague using our real-time collaboration feature.
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What is the best way to document processes?
Whatever format you use, the best way to document your processes is to take a holistic approach, looking not just at the physical steps taken but why the process exists at all. The exact method may differ depending on your processes, but here’s a good starting point:
- Step 1: Name the process
- Step 2: Define the scope
- Step 3: Determine the process start and end
- Step 4: Determine the inputs and outputs of the process
- Step 5: Establish the individuals or departments responsible for carrying out the process, and determine who in the organization is responsible for monitoring and improving upon the process, if necessary
- Step 6: Identify the ideal steps involved in completing the process
- Step 7: For process documentation purposes, visuals are ideal, so determine which type of process documentation visual is best. Popular options include flow charts, checklists and standard operating procedures, among others.
- Step 8: Determine if or when it’s ever appropriate to deviate from the process, and, if so, describe scenarios where this might occur
- Step 9: Put the process into practice and monitor its success or failure; consider what steps can be taken to improve it and implement them, again reviewing for success
We explain the process in more detail in our blog on process documentation. Check it out:
How do you create a process document?
With Venngage for Business, it’s simple and easy to create a process document using one of the templates on this page or another from our vast library. Considering the steps above, decide on a format that will best describe your process and customize the template with your information.
Remember not every step we listed above will apply to every process, and it’s often not necessary to be extremely detailed with processes or procedures, but this all depends on what you think will work best for your organization.
Check out some other ways you can use visual communication to enhance your training and development efforts.
Procedure documentation examples
Let’s check out examples of some of the most common and effective types of procedure documentation, including templates you can get started customizing today.
This process flow chart template is an excellent example of a visual approach to a step-by-step procedure. It’s detailed, which helps employees understand the nuance of the issue, but the design ensures it’s still easy to follow.
Process documentation is often detailed, but it can also be simple, as in this checklist example. The easy-to-follow steps help make sure every item on the list is completed. While it may not be appropriate for a lengthy or complex procedure, it’s excellent for simple tasks.
Standard operating procedures can be part of a process document. Check out this SOP template for employee expense claim process:
This standard operating procedure template was created to describe a procedure for claiming expenses, but it could apply to any work process that involves multiple departments. Note how there are sides for both the employee and the human resources department.
This workflow diagram is an ideal way of keeping a multi-function team on track and all working toward the same goal. And the dark, modern design approach keeps the focus on the steps needed to complete the process.
Process workflow templates
Helping employees visualize a workflow is an excellent way to help them commit the process to memory, and in some cases, it can help them see how they fit into the larger organization. That’s especially true for processes that involve multiple departments.
This process workflow template describes the steps necessary for project management in an organization, but it’s easy to see how it could apply to any process that involves receiving approval for a proposal or plan. It could be ideal for a consultancy or other client-based organization.
Use this template as a foundation for any e-commerce, dropshipping or other retail scenarios that involve ordering, payment and logistics.
Kanban is a project management tool that helps team members visualize the stages in a process, so it’s ideal for process documentation. This example is broken down into two teams, which shows how effective a template like this can be for large teams.
This process workflow infographic utilizes data visualization by scaling a horizontal bar graph according to how much time each step in the process should take. This is a perfect way of visualizing a project that will take several weeks or even months with parallel work taking place.
This illustrated process diagram shows an order processing diagram, including what happens if payment is declined as well as what happens when an order is out for delivery.
Process flow chart templates
Flow charts are among the most intuitive types of visuals you can use to document your processes, and Venngage has dozens of engaging templates that would be perfect for your organization.
Flow charts tend to lean toward the technical side, and the biggest reason is that they typically are used to describe rigid procedures that aren’t allowed to change. A good example of that is this template created to describe patient’s rights, which are protected by federal law.
For a process that involves different departments, it’s best if one person from each department can chime in and create the process document. Venngage for Business makes it easy for you to collaborate with your colleagues in real time on a design:
Let’s take a look at another process document template in the form of a flowchart:
Flow charts can help make sure policies are being applied fairly across an organization, as in this template covering alleged behavioral problems by employees.
Flowcharts can also be used to help make decisions when multiple outcomes are possible. In the example above, the question is what to do if you think you might have COVID-19, but it’s easy to see this template applied to any workplace decision-making process.
Troubleshooting is a perfect opportunity to use a flow chart to document a procedure. While not every step will be taken, breaking down the process to arrive at a solution means covering every possibility.
Process documentation flowcharts are especially helpful in a crisis, as they provide clear, actionable steps people can take rather than panicking. In this template, a color-coded key indicates which team is responsible for what actions.
Process checklist templates
Process checklists are a simple but effective way to make sure every step in a procedure is followed, and some research has suggested that checklists are helpful for committing things to memory.
This project checklist template can be easily customized for your business processes so you can be sure all your projects are completed in time and within budget.
Checklists are useful additions to any process documentation library, but they’re especially helpful for processes that need to be repeated regularly, like this monthly SEO audit template.
Checklists can also make complex and overwhelming tasks, like a company audit, feel surmountable. This helps ensure team members remain motivated rather than feeling crushed by the weight of a project.
Consider breaking checklist items up by their purpose. For example, in this checklist template describing steps in a content marketing process, tasks are organized by what reader-focused outcome they connect to.
Not every process you need to document takes place on a daily, monthly or even yearly basis. But to be sure everyone in your organization works off the same playbook, it’s helpful to consider procedures that may be infrequent, like helping remote workers set up their home-based workspaces.
For more checklist templates, check out:
Standard operating procedure templates
Standard operating procedures take many forms, including some others already mentioned here. Checklists, flow charts and process diagrams can all be considered standard operating procedure examples, assuming they’re used to make sure tasks are consistent across an organization.
Standard operating procedure documentation tends to be serious and formal, and this escalation matrix example is no different. Such training tools are particularly useful for customer service or call teams, but they can also be created to resolve internal disputes.
Operation manual templates are helpful for establishing accountability in process documentation. This equipment usage agreement could be modified to cover social media account passwords for marketing teams or banking information for accounting teams.
Standard operating procedure documents can also speak to ensuring team members are well-trained, as this actionable weekly meeting agenda aims to do. The structure helps ensure that each team member receives the same level of attention, which can level the workplace playing field.
Meeting templates can also help managers provide useful feedback for team members as well as discussing their broader career goals with them. Employee engagement is among the biggest reasons to use Venngage for Business when creating your process documentation templates.
This escalation matrix describes for customer service team members the steps they should take in the event of customer complaints. Heading off minor problems before they become major ones keeps everyone happy and on task.
Microsoft Word documentation template
While we’ve so far shown you the type of process documentation templates available at Venngage, we should note that our platform is not the only way to ensure crucial business procedures are documented. (We think it’s the best, of course, and we’ll explain why.)
Microsoft Word, one of the leading word-processing programs on earth, has in recent years added to its visual capabilities. Users can now insert diagrams and even smart charts that automatically shift their appearance when new content is added.
But even with those improvements, the reality is that Word is for writing, and process documentation is at its best when team members can visualize the steps they need to take. Let’s look at a real example we created to show how limited Word’s design capabilities are.
We created this flowchart in Word using the program’s smart art tools, and while it was a quick process, we don’t think it holds a candle to the original, which is highly visual and engaging, as you can see below:
Google Docs flow chart template
Google has also recently rolled out some design tools, which it calls Google Drawings. While they offer the benefit of other Google Drive tools like docs, sheets and others, like Word, the final product lacks the visual appeal available with Venngage.
With just a few possible templates to choose from, there’s no easy way to achieve the same results that can be achieved with Venngage for Business using Google drawings.
In summary: Process documentation can help train team members and make sure everything is done the right way
Organizing your process documentation around engaging and easy-to-understand visuals like flowcharts, checklists and more can enhance information retention and help ensure all steps are followed.
No design experience? No worries. Simply start signing up for a free Venngage account and see for yourself how easy it is to customize a process documentation template with Venngage editor.