Know your Processes

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process,
you don’t know what you’re doing.”

– W. Edwards Deming

When it comes to running a business, working with a VA, or just getting stuff done, there is a process to productivity.

Knowing what you’ve got on your plate and having a process of staying current on all your open project loops and to-dos, lets you know where you need help. Documenting the steps to complete the regularly recurring tasks gives you a playbook if you’re in the market to hire a VA or thinking of adding a team member. It’s important to know your processes and procedures before trying to hand them off to someone else.

What does Process and Procedures mean?

Though these terms are closely related and often used together or interchangeably, there is a real difference between them.

  • Process – “The What” – a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end.
  • Procedure – “The How” – a specific documented set of steps or actions to carry out the process in order to complete a task or achieve a specific goal. Procedures are often used to ensure consistency and efficiency in operations.

Think of the process as a workflow chart giving you the steps you have to complete to achieve your end result, while the procedure consists of the individual steps.

When considering handing off any task, it’s important that YOU know what the steps are and that you can communicate them effectively, especially why they may be important to you.

If you already have your processes documented, then celebrate! You are good to go! Woohoo!

If you don’t, here are some tips to start documenting your process to create your procedures:

Record a video: This does not need to be perfect or shown to anyone. Using any video recording software like Loom, Zoom, WeVideo, iMovie, or whatever you prefer, share your screen, click record and go through your process as you normally would. As you go through your steps, verbalize what you’re doing and why each step is important. Note anything that could be helpful information for your VA to know about your thought process and needs.

Create a workflow chart: Map out your workflow, draw it on paper or use a tool like Canva to create a visual representation of your process. Like this…

After you’ve mapped out your process, get specific on each step. Use your recording to highlight those steps that might feel awkward but are necessary for you, like sending an email to notify you that the step is complete. Also include links to any documents or programs you use.

If we use my graphic as an example, the procedure could look like this:

Step one: create content:

  • Open google Doc (link to existing doc)
  • Add links to resources, blog post, copy/paste content to use or write new content
  • Send email to edit/approve

Step two: create graphic

  • Open Canva- link to existing file or create a new one
  • Pick an image
  • Add text
  • Add logo
  • Save as png file to download folder (or specific folder)

Step three: write caption

  • Using Content document, create caption
  • Add graphic image
  • Add hashtags
  • Add links

Step four: schedule post to social media platform

  • Open program [FB Meta Business Suite, Buffer, Hootsuite, Smarterqueue]
  • Draft post and copy
  • Schedule

Step five: add scheduled post to spreadsheet

  • Open spreadsheet [include link]
  • Paste caption and upload/copy/paste image

If you’re doing the work yourself, you may skip some of these steps, but if you’re handing this off to a VA, you may want to add steps specific for communication or have your VA help you fill in the gaps. 

One of my clients came to me with amazing processes and documentation. It was easy for me to take over, because all the steps were clearly labeled and every procedure was full of links and resources. The instructions were streamlined, concise, and made the process a breeze to go through. 

Keep your documents in a secure place. If you’re sharing them, using an online file sharing app might be helpful like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. Using collaboration tools like Google Docs can be useful when working a VA. 

Not every client will be this organized and that’s totally alright. In fact even the most organized of us may still need a nudge from time to time to get these ducks in a row. If you need any support with getting your processes in order, I’m here to help!



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