Adopt a Social Media Model for Procedure Documentation

Written by on November 19, 2015 in Process Management with 0 Comments

Deciding what method to use to document your business processes can be confusing.  There are so many choices available today other than the standard Microsoft Word document or PowerPoint slides.

Not only that, people have much shorter attention spans and want to have access to information when they need it, without having to go through a long process to get it.

Short Attention Spans

men-with-thought-speech-bubble-with-social-network-sign-on-world-map-backgr_GyAAGjsd_L People get impatient trying to find answers to their immediate problems.  According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds.  That?s down from 12 seconds in 2000.  Adding to the distraction, the average office worker checks their email inbox 30 times per hour.  And the average length of time we watch a single internet video is just 2.7 minutes.

Think about what this means to your organization.  How can you provide documentation and training in the age of short attention spans and email?  Are there better ways to engage and capture the attention of your employees so that they want to learn and use documentation?

Social Media Model

Think about how you can use a ?social media model? to provide great documentation and training for your employees.  Social Media allows users to be connected and interact with one another.  It encourages everyone to contribute and provide feedback in the ?community.?  Social Media encourages conversation and sharing of interests, knowledge and beliefs among its members.

Communities typically organize themselves and share particular kinds of content.  Think about social sharing sites such as Flickr (photos), Del.icio.us (bookmarked links) and YouTube (videos).  How can you organize your content in a similar way on your own website or wiki?

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Wiki

A wiki is a website which uses special software (wiki engine) to allow the users to collaborate and modify its content.  A wiki can be used for knowledge management, note-taking, and user-editable pages.  So if you require everyone in the organization to create process and procedure documentation, create a wiki where everyone has access to the shared information and can update content as needed.

Videos

Instead of just creating Word documents with pictures, consider creating screen capture videos.  Create a private company channel on YouTube and use the keywords and descriptions to allow users to search for the content they are seeking.

Info-graphics

Info-graphics are one page images that can be used to create checklists and workflow diagrams for job aids and training.  The images can be saved as a picture and posted to your Wiki or other website.  Or, the images can be saved in a PDF format and printed.  You can use cloud-based software such as Piktochart to create great info-graphics using their templates.

Team Communication

Make use of online collaboration tools such as Trello or Volerro (kanban boards). Use Asana or Basecamp (workflow management) to encourage your staff to communicate and share information quickly and easily without relying on long email chains.  These collaboration software tools allows you to manage groups, projects, and client work

Communication Apps such as HipChat and Slack allow for real-time communication that is a step above sending simple text messages.  Messages can be stored and archived.  You can use hash tags to mark keywords in conversations and much more.

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Company Culture

Making the change to a social media model will require a change in how you think about documenting procedures and sharing information.  Throwing a new tool at people won?t be successful unless you spend time training and communicating the reasons for the change.  All of the key players must buy into using the new tools or you are wasting your energy.  Changing company culture can take time and it must start at the top.

Contact Us

If you would like to discuss how Miller Productivity can assist you in documenting your business processes, either using a social media model or traditional methods, let us know.

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