July 26, 2017

Writing Manuals Is The Best Way To Improve Your Processes

This month, I spent a lot of time working on our internal manuals.

What makes Trademark Factory® special is not just a cool name or a unique offer (free comprehensive trademark search, single all-inclusive flat fee, and a 100% money-back guarantee).

What makes us special is all the processes that allow us to reliably deliver on our promises, with 99.4+% rate of success.

We've got literally hundreds of thousands lines of code that make all of this possible. On top of this, we have a whole stack of documented procedures that allow us to be consistent in what we do. 

Thing is, we keep growing, we keep coming up with cool ideas, and we keep evolving.

And sometimes, our manuals no longer reflect the new procedures we're supposed to follow.

So what I would sometimes do is simply go through some of our procedures and document every single small step—with screenshots and explanations—to create a replicable process that others can follow.

And what I discovered is that there is nothing better for seeing inefficiencies and coming up with ideas for incremental improvements than to write such documentation. 

As I'd take a screenshot and write a paragraph explaining the step, I'd think, "And why exactly do we have to do it this way?" or "Wouldn't it be easier if we did it that way?"

So now, when I write our manuals, I would simultaneously write an email to our developers so they could implement the new and improved way of doing things.

I can even reuse the same screenshots!

P.S. Interestingly, I also advocate having the people who actually do the work to write the manuals. For example, our virtual assistants have helped me write some of the manuals for what they do. This saves a lot of time—and trust me, I hate writing manuals—but it deprives me of the opportunity to find ways to improve our systems. So the solution here is to go over the manuals that someone else wrote and follow them step-by-step, again, to see if there is something that could be improved. Without fail, you will find something!