How To Quickly Systematize Your Business by creating a Minimum Viable Procedure for each repetitive Task that You do.
How do you eat an elephant? You do so by taking one bite at a time. The elephant is this case is the lack of predictable systems in your business and to solve this problem I want to introduce you to the concept of creating a Minimum Viable Procedure for each repetitive task that you do. A minimum viable procedure is a simple framework for creating a procedural outline. In essence, it’s the process of developing a skeleton procedure that will be fleshed out in more detail later. You can view an example here.
We accidentally came upon this idea when speaking with one of our most active customers who has more than 50 procedures in their account!
Creating a minimum viable procedure is not unlike building a house. A builder begins with the foundation, and the foundation acts as a guide for him to erect the wood and metal framework. These components then act as a guide for him to add the walls and the roof. Or, he may assign these duties to another contractor.
Let’s take a look at how this works in practical terms.
The Quickest And Easiest Way To Document A Procedure For A Repetitive Task
A minimum viable procedure is the quickest and easiest way to start documenting a procedure for a repetitive task.
If we were to extend the home building analogy from earlier…
- The foundation would be the title of the procedure (<<<— title of the task).
- The wood and metal framework would be the title of each step in the procedure.
- The walls and the roof would be the details of each step.
In other words, a minimum viable procedure is initially only concerned with the foundation and the framework of the house. The walls and the roof can be added on later.
There are examples of people who have done similar things in their businesses. In this interview Brian Kaldenberg explains how he trains his employees with a manual and how he gets them to help him improve it on an ongoing basis and flesh out the missing details. Also in this interview, David Michael reveals how he gets his employees to help him document procedures for each repetitive task that they do by making it a requirement as part of their job.
If you don’t have much time to invest into documenting procedures, or you just need the motivation to get more done, minimum viable procedures can help you get moving.
The Top 3 Benefits Of Creating A Minimum Viable Procedure
Here are three specific benefits to developing minimum viable procedures:
- Save time: creating a minimum viable procedure does not require you to document an entire procedure from start to finish. Therefore, it can be done relatively quickly and without a significant investment of effort.
- Increase effectiveness: even a minimum viable procedure (a procedure that hasn’t been fully documented) can help you work through repetitive tasks more efficiently. It doesn’t have to be fully fleshed out to be useful. In the long run, you and your team can be more productive with your time.
- Leverage the strengths of others: you can collaborate with your team or an outside consultant to create the best procedure possible. You can focus on the key points of a task and have others flesh out the finer points. This frees you up to work on high-return high-priority activities.
When To Create A Minimum Viable Procedure
The best time to create a minimum viable procedure is when you’re actually working on a repetitive task that is required for your business to function, but no procedure has been created for it yet.
First, open a new browser tab, log into SweetProcess, and click on the “Create a Procedure” button. Give the procedure a relevant title. Then, you can begin creating titles for each step in the procedure. At this stage, it is necessary to enter the title of the procedure (the foundation), and the title of each step (the wooden and metal framework). The details of each step (the walls and the roof) will be fleshed out later.
How To Get Your Experienced Staff Members Or Managers To Fill Out The Details Of Your Minimum Viable Procedure
Once you have your minimum viable procedure in place, you can have experienced staff or managers fill out the details. Have them carry out the task and flesh out the missing pieces (the walls and the roof).
Once the details have been entered, it’s important to review the entire procedure. Test it to ensure that the procedure is easy to follow and it delivers the results you’re looking for.
How To Fill Out The Details Of Your Minimum Viable Procedure On Your Own One Step At A Time
If you do not have a manager or experienced staff that can fill out the details of your procedure, you can expand on your minimum viable procedure by documenting the details of each step on your own over a period of time.
Since you are documenting the procedure for a task that is repetitive and required for your business to function, something you are going to do on a recurring basis, at this stage, only commit to filling out the details of one step of the procedure each time you carry out the task. For example, if there is a task that you execute every weekday, and there are five steps to the procedure, you can fill in the details one step at a time and have the entire process documented by Friday (assuming you started on Monday)!
How To Hire A Systems Consultant Or Process Designer To Fill Out The Details Of Your Minimum Viable Procedure
If neither you nor your employees have the bandwidth to fill out the details of your minimum viable procedure, or it’s just not possible for you or someone on your team to work on it, you should consider hiring a systems consultant or a process designer to do the work.
Bringing in an outside consultant can be tricky in that they don’t necessarily know your business as well as you or your employees do. However, the value of systematizing your business is well worth the investment.
We suggest reading this article if you want to work with an outside consultant or process designer. Specifically, the following sections should be studied carefully:
- Solution #2: Hire a Systems Consultant to Document Your Procedures
- Solution #3: Hire a Process Designer from H.Y.V.A.™ to Document Your Procedures
Are there any tasks in your business that have not been documented yet? Are there bottlenecks in your business that could be curtailed from being systematized?
Minimum viable procedures can help you to develop solutions for present challenges. Even skeleton lists can make the handling of repetitive tasks more efficient. In the long run, you and your team will be more productive.
Furthermore, you can have others fill out the details for you. With a minimum viable procedure in place, the documenting of a procedure can be done quickly by your managers, staff or outside consultants.
In short, your business can benefit a great deal from using minimum viable procedures.