Why do business owners hate documenting processes?


hate-writing24In my practice as a consultant and a business analyst, I noticed a trend that makes no sense to me.

A decision is made within the business. It may be discussed with other employees. This decision is then put into place. However, there is no documentation to support why or when this all happened.

In the short term everything seems to be okay. The long term reality is that at some point in the future, the decision is revisited for whatever reason.

No one, including the business owner can recall why or when this idea was ever put into place.

So the entire discussion starts all over again and a new idea is put into place to replace the old one not because its better but because some of the people that were apart of the original discussion are no longer employed at the business and the rest of the employees don’t remember.

A common justification for this practice is that it only takes a few minutes to create a new process. In the case of a single incident this may be true, though it is still avoidable.

However, the reality is that this happens more than once. In fact, it’s more likely to be happening multiple times per day or week. Multiply that over the course of the year and minutes quickly turn into days/weeks/months.

This is a huge waste of time and resources and not very efficient. Why not create a simple document that contains the process and share it with everyone on the team/company that contains timestamps and reasons that decisions were made?

Process documentation is simple cheap and has a huge return.


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