Documenting Your Processes

I have learned over the past 13 years of working on the web, that having a well documented process can be invaluable when working with a team. Now when you are the only person doing the work, you can establish your own set of processes and never need to write them down. However as soon as you have 2 or more people working on the same project, keeping a documented process comes in really handy.

Case in point – let’s say your team is working on tracking a variety of online campaigns. Coming up with a consistent way to produce the query strings that need to be appended to URLs for tracking anything from a banner ad to a PPC campaign is crucial. If everyone on the team uses a different convention, pretty soon your reporting is going to end up being a mess. Trying to untangle the mess for anyone running reports can really cut into productivity as well.

I recommend you nominate someone on your team to be in charge of documenting processes such as these, of course soliciting feedback from the team before a final draft of the document is completed. Once a process document has been finalized it should be made available to all team members, and all team members should be expected to follow that process going forward.

This is not to say the process is written in stone – at some point someone on the team may think of a more effient way to complete some part of the process – at which time that team member should discuss it with the process document writer who then can go back and edit the document, send out for another review, and then redistribute.

This manner of documenting processes within a team has worked very well for me over the years and if your team doesn’t current document your processes, I highly recommend you get started. I know this is a task that is often pushed to the back burner due to never ending projects. However once you have them in place, very often they can even help the team become more proactive, help to increase productivity and provide some measure of accountability when someone is caught not following the agreed-upon process.

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