Having standard operating procedures will become increasingly vital as your company expands. Consequently, the importance of business tools will become evident for the fluidity of your operations. Consider all of the different aspects of your company that have internal processes that must be followed:
- Orienting new employees
- Contract completion
- Recruiting new vendors
- Obtaining budget approval
The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, many businesses fall into one of two groups when it comes to processes. They either don’t have procedures in place or they don’t have their processes recorded anywhere, so everyone has their own version of them.
Miscommunication, difficulties tracking the completion of certain activities, and disarray are the bottom line for these two approaches.
Fortunately, by using the correct document management business tools, you can get your entire firm on the same page. Communicating concisely what has to be done will improve productivity.
13 tools you can use to efficiently manage documents in your business
- Google Drive
- Microsoft Visio
- Gemba Walk
Bit.ai is a new process documentation and knowledge management application that enables teams to communicate, share, track, and manage all company knowledge in one convenient location. Unlike conventional Word documents, Bit documents are interactive. This means that users may simply add rich media to a document with a single click, such as audio, videos, PDFs, SlideShare, Google Docs, and so on.
Multiple individuals can work on a Bit smart document at the same time. It’s a fantastic approach for employees to collaborate on different areas of a project under one roof. Bit’s editor is an excellent document management solution because it is elegant, basic, and distraction-free.
Pellio is a process documentation tool that allows anyone to document a process in just three simple steps. Images, videos, file attachments, and even HTML may be added to any stage in your business processes with Pellio’s text editor.
Pellio’s simple dashboard gives each employee a clear customized dashboard. Employees receive all of their assigned tasks in this dashboard, which they must perform step-by-step utilizing forms. This helps team members work together effortlessly, knowing exactly what to do, how to do it, and in what sequence to do it. Pellio also creates thorough reports that show where processes may be improved, allowing users to fine-tune them to increase the company’s productivity.
Wrike is a task management tool that makes it simple for teams to collaborate. It contains a number of capabilities that some of the other tools on our list don’t, making it a fantastic choice for firms seeking more than simply a tool to develop and manage process documentation.
Wrike is very useful for firms with remote staff because anyone can access any information from any location, including on mobile apps and devices. If your company’s business processes aren’t documented, it is a terrific collaboration tool for that. Every employee also gets their own dashboard, which allows them to see what has to be done on their end.
Paperwork is a process that every department in any company must deal with. Sending and getting papers signed can be a real burden, especially if you need numerous individuals to sign them. Eversign simplifies the process by providing full document workflow management. Eversign makes your document workflow simple, from generating templates to emailing them and ensuring everyone signs them.
The best thing is that you can develop templates for all of the various documents you require signed daily. This way, everyone knows which documents to send and can tailor them to their requirements.
Trello is a project management system that follows the Kanban method. Kanban is a system that allows you to set up processes and move projects along with the stated phases until they are completed. Trello may be used as a business process documentation tool by creating boards for all of your company’s distinct processes.
You may design a Trello board to manage almost any process you can think of. The nicest feature about Trello is that you can organize your boards by teams, so each department can describe its operations on its own board. You can also keep track of the status of any jobs that are currently in process so you always know where things stand.
Podio is a project management tool similar to Trello, but it is not quite the same. It is more of a versatile solution that your firm can utilize to document business procedures and more. Podio was designed for larger firms with multiple procedures and projects to manage.
This document management solution could be a suitable fit if your needs are more extensive than simply laying out your processes. Keep in mind that you will almost certainly require a project manager to set up and maintain your system to ensure that activities are completed or making progress.
Integrify is a business process documentation solution to look into if your business processes require getting data from numerous sources and have several steps that can be automated. It allows you to design processes using a drag-and-drop interface, making it simple to set up and automate any procedure.
Integrify’s advantage above other personal document management software is its automation. You won’t have to manually move from one phase to the next once you have created your process. When an employee submits their form, the rest of the process begins, and other relevant stakeholders are notified when their section is due. This eliminates the need for the employee to contact their manager, HR, or other departments to inquire about the status of their request.
Confluence has become a popular tool for developing internal wikis (especially among tech businesses). You can organize documents, projects, convey corporate updates, and have an overall hub for all your company information with Confluence.
Confluence is a good option if you don’t need something as dynamic as Trello’s Kanban boards, but rather a central location to store your business process records. You can develop documents that define each department’s processes, which will be searchable within your hub. Confluence is also made by Atlassian, which also owns Trello, thus the two programs work well together. Just bear in mind that due to all of the software’s capabilities, the learning curve can be steep.
Basecamp is another popular business process documentation tool among tech organizations. Basecamp can be described simply as an internal communication tool. While it offers several features that can assist you in documenting your business operations, one of the most notable is the to-do lists. You can specify any processes that need to be done and allocate them to different members of your team using to-do lists. You can copy the processes and reuse them as needed.
This is especially handy if you have several team members involved in your business processes. For example, if taking on new vendors necessitates gaining clearance from your department’s head, having the contract evaluated by legal, and then having the contract paid for by finance, you can delegate each action to the proper individual.
10. Google Drive
It doesn’t get much easier than Google Drive if you are searching for a free solution to employ to document all of your company procedures. It is simple to turn the free platform for storing files and creating documents into a business process documentation tool.
One option is to create folders for each of your many departments. Then, in each folder, there are documents outlining all of the different processes, such as how to file accounts, payable requests, IT support, and so on.
Because Google Drive is a collaboration tool, you can create a document with the processes, and it will be simple to update the documentation in real-time. The disadvantage of using Drive as a business process documentation tool is that you don’t get all of the bells and whistles that some of the other solutions on our list do. However, it is difficult to beat for a simple, free solution. This is a great option for small firms with a modest number of employees.
11. Microsoft Visio
Do you have people on your team who are visual and want to see how your procedures work? Visio could be a nice tool to use. It is a flowchart software where you can build a visual representation of all of your business processes.
Even if you don’t intend to use it as one of your company’s official tools, it might be useful in the process of mapping out your processes. For example, if you don’t already have a budget approval process in place, use Visio to draw a flowchart of what it should look like. When you see the stages set out graphically, you can sometimes detect possible flaws that you wouldn’t notice if you just wrote them down.
Most firms do not consider Evernote to be a tool for documenting business processes. However, it is much more than just a convenient tool to jot down notes from the Internet. With their commercial plan, you get access to some of their more advanced features, such as Spaces, which works similarly to Confluence as a hub for your team.
Spaces serves as an intranet for your team, allowing you to document all of your processes as well as save notes, ideas, dashboards, and other information. Their template collection is another option you may take advantage of. They include templates for everything from employment interviews to project planning and more.
If your hiring process includes an interview, you can provide a link to the form your staff should use to find candidates. It is easy to find and convenient for your entire team because everything is in one spot.
13. Gemba Walk
Gemba or gemba walk is a Japanese term that means ‘’the real place’’ or ‘’the place where value is created’’. It simply refers to the location where the majority of your team’s work is completed. It is a cornerstone of the lean management philosophy, to identify day-to-day issues and to better understand, observe, and improve processes to foster a culture of continuous improvement.
In recent years, gemba walks have become a popular management technique because they allow companies to gain valuable insights on their operations and supply chain. In fact, regular gemba walks help organizations identify opportunities for improvement.
Managers should investigate processes at all levels of the organization’s hierarchy and include employees at all levels if they wish to enhance procedures. Gemba Walks promote better communication, transparency, and trust among team members and stakeholders.
The steps needed to establish an effective gemba walk include:
- Preparing your team members
- Strategically planning your gemba walk
- Focusing on collaboration and value stream
- Structuring your data
- Walking the floor in teams
- Changing the schedule of the gemba walk
- Communicating with your employees
- Measuring key KPIs
Gemba Walk is your best ally if you wish to improve your processes. Hundreds of firms use our online application to strategically schedule gemba walks, collect thorough information, structure data, and create reports to assess KPIs.