When I first started in I.T I was young and able to absorb everything I read and memorised it all. Then as the years passed by I learned more about processes for performing regular tasks in my work and they became my own. So much so that they were engrained within who I was and I never needed to look this type of information up.
However, as I have gotten more involved in the business of running a business and not just owning a job it has become much more difficult to remember this so fluently as I used to. This gave rise to processes. Many people have come across Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which are common practice in large organisations but not so in small businesses, why? The reason is quite simple; In order for a large business to run fluently and in the way the creator designed it there must be an SOP as he/she will not be there to train every role in the business.
I am currently in the process of creating a whole raft of checklists for tasks which are undertaken at a clients site along with business processes for things that must be completed within our own business. So what needs to be documented? Anything and everything…..this sounds like a mammoth task but it isn’t. The reality is that you need to document anything which needs to be done but should not require you to perform it yourself. For example my topic this weekend is ‘SBS2oo3 to SBS 2008 migration checklist’. This is simply a checklist to tech’s to following when they are performing this type of migration. It is not a full migration manual for SBS but it is a ‘crib sheet’ to help job the memory of a training technician so that something important is not forgotten.
Does your business need checklists and procedures? Maybe. Would it benefit? Definitely.