All companies and organizations have processes that allow them to perform smoothly no matter what department. Much of these processes are in someone’s head. It is critical that these processes get documented. You never know when an employee that knows the process will get sick or quit the company or organization. And when these individuals go on vacation, it is better to have a document to train the backup person with then just a verbal training. A well documented process will save the company/organization time and money. I just documented for a client how social media updates in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linkedin Groups are done so others in the organization can do these updates.
Therefore I suggest the following:
- Create a template for what a documented process will look like and what a process document will include.
- Create a spreadsheet list of the suggested processes to be documented along with the primary person to write the process and the secondary person that will a review the documented process. Prioritize the processes to know which ones to document first.
- Communicate to the staff (including those not involved in the documentation process) that processes are being documented and welcome their involvement and suggestions.
- Assign the processes to individuals and document one process a month. After a few months the company or organization will have a process manual. When companies or organizations are audited, one of the requirements is to have well documented processes.
- Store the documented processes in a shared directory so everyone can access it if necessary.
- When new employees are hired, show them where the processes are documented so that they can review the ones that apply to them.
- Review these processes once a year and update them with any new changes to the process. I suggest that you do this review in December when business is slow so that the processes are updated by the start of the new year.
While documenting processes, questions and issues about processes will occur. For example, why do we make so many copies of invoices. Can’t we only make one copy and do an electronic version. Make sure that your company/organization is protected by having important processes documented in all departments. Make it part of the company/organization culture to document processes and have everyone’s involvement in documenting the processes.
When a product or service is launched by your organization you need to have consistent messaging. This is accomplished by having a Key Messaging Document or KMD. The KMD is done by the marketing product manager or individual that understands the purpose of the product. Sometimes if there is disagreement on messaging or messaging wording then having a meeting to discuss is helpful. Once you have a KMD completed and approved, the press release can be written as well as the FAQ and presentation for sales training. The KMD should be no more than a page and a half but preferably one page.
The KMD should contain the following information:
- Official product name as well as the internal product name if there is one
- Marketing champion(s) which is the person or persons responsible for the KMD
- Mention what is being announced
- Dates including announce date and release date if different from announce date
- Approvers of KMD which should be the boss of the marketing champion and others from different areas of the company so that the messaging is agreed to by a variety of people
- Proposed news release title which should be descriptive and catchy
- Key messages to convey
- Compelling value to clients such as faster, cheaper, greener, easier, etc.
- Competitive positioning
- Target audience of messaging such as partner sales reps, industry analysts, press and end users
- Supporting external quotations such as a from a client or partner
- Related event(s) and their date(s) such as a trade show that the announcement will be made.
Try to get the KMD completed at least a month before the product or service launch so that other documents such as news release and launch FAQ can be completed. Having a clear concisely worded KMD will make the launch more effective. This document will be used often during the launch including in the FAQ, presentation and news release. A KMD will also assist everyone being on the same page.