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July 2014 - By Vivienne Begg, Information Management Specialist @ TP3
 

Business documentation is a treasure trove of valuable information. From product information to crisis and contingency procedures, your organisation has a substantial amount of existing wisdom captured in documents, handbooks, user manuals, and knowledge repositories.

Yet business documentation is often destined to languish, seldom-visited, with its immense value locked away in very, very long documents that are difficult to navigate and use.

There are many ways that organisations  can benefit from improving the quality of business documentation. Here are 7 reasons we think you should focus on it:
 
  1. Contrary to popular belief, people actually do use documentation. People are frustrated when they can’t find the information they need, at the moment that they need it. On the whole, people want to do the right thing – but if they can’t find the information they need to do so, it can result in an unsatisfactory experience for customers, colleagues, or stakeholders. 
     
  2. 85% of regulatory audits begin with a review of documentation. An auditor’s mindset is that if they can’t understand what they read, or if it wasn’t documented, then it doesn’t happen. So having the right documentation is important to auditors, but actually using it is an even better demonstration of compliance. 
     
  3. Documentation can reduce liability in situations where a customer was using a product in ways that ignored the written instructions, or an employee is injured performing a task contrary to the written process.
     
  4. Poor documentation puts your corporate image and brand at risk. Surveys by large organisations regularly show that an inability to find information about products or processes is a leading cause of customer and employee dissatisfaction.
     
  5. The amount of time it takes for call centre operators to find the information needed to serve customers is a major reason for rising operational costs. Service delivery times and customer satisfaction can be increased by making information more readily available at the moment it is needed. Read this case study for an example of how improved information retrieval increased call centre performance at a major Australian bank.
     
  6. Clear, easily understood documentation helps new employees get up to speed quickly and perform effectively during induction.
     
  7. Documentation is vital when standardising best practice because it ensures that everyone in the organisation can take consistent action.
To improve business productivity, it’s important for your documentation to be easier to read, easier to write, more accurate and more reusable. Information that is clear and concise increases operating efficiency, improves customer service and compliance with regulatory requirements.
 
Make some time to review your documents and think about how you can improve them. If you're unsure how to do that, our range of business writing courses will give you the skills you need.
 
Alternatively, call us and ask about our information management and documentation services.

 

 

 

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