process prompts
BSS #009: Process prompts > sops

50% of what people learn they forget within one hour.

70% of what people learn, they forget within 24 hours.

90% of what people learn they forget within one week.

All of those stats were pulled from research on the forgetting curve.

Research also shows that handwriting leads to increased retention.

While Creating and maintaining long-form Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) remains a critical part of the overall process documentation process, if we start to view processes as a series of simple prompts, we can not only increase the consistency of execution but reduce errors as well as increase efficiency and utilization.

Creating a Process Map

If you don’t have process documentation in place or have never created a process map, don’t let this intimidate you. You can create a process map very simply using the tools that you already have access to. Your goal is to create a high-level outline of the steps needed to accomplish a particular result. So for example, if we were going to create a process map for making a cup of coffee it may look something like this:

If you need help getting started, take a look at this:

Creating Your Documentation

If you already have process documentation or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place, you can go ahead and skip to creating your checklist.

If you’re just getting started, here is a great resource to walk you through that process: The goal here is to create a detailed, step-by-step guide to follow to achieve a specific goal or outcome.

Process Prompts Framework

The goal here is to take your long-form process documentation or Standard Operating Procedures to create a process checklist.

You want to be thinking, we are creating a document that drives specific actions to achieve our desired outcome.

Step 1: Identify Key Steps

  • Use your long-form process documentation to help you. I would add that just because something is a key step doesn’t necessarily mean you need to include it on your checklist. I usually like to see run an item through Step 2 below to see if there is any feedback or errors to support including it. The reason is that it can be very easy to create a long checklist that tends to lose its effectiveness and impact. Again, think “prompts”.

Step 2: What Can Go Wrong?

  • You want to identify and include things that can often “go wrong” on your checklist. This is a great place to get suggestions from people who are closest to the particular process to see what types of roadblocks they often face or what kind of things they often forget. I like to take a look at your defects and errors to identify things to put on your process checklist. The thing to keep in mind is that even the most experienced operators and people on your team will tend to forget key steps within the process which will ultimately lead to errors and defects.

Step 3: Decide and Document

  • This is where you’re formalizing your checklist into something usable. Depending on what process you’re implementing this with and how that process is executed will dictate how this part of the framework is implemented. If your process is executed on every order, you will want to provide access to a unique checklist for every order. Run through multiple departments? You’ll want a checklist for each order and each department.

At the end of this you should have something like this:

The Process Prompts Framework is a great way to document your processes in a way that makes them easy to follow and less prone to error. By breaking down long-form SOPs into simple, actionable steps, we can create a process checklist that will help us achieve our desired outcome more efficiently and with fewer mistakes.

That’s it for today.

See you all next week!


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