Trainual Homepage

How To Document a Process Template

Teach your team how to start documenting processes with this how-to template.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

How To Document a Process Template

Teach your team how to start documenting processes with this how-to template.


Why our business needs processes

Processes are step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task from beginning to end. They’re critical for efficient and effective business operations. Processes document information that would otherwise remain inside the heads of individual team members — different for every person, resulting in haphazard and inconsistent execution. Without process documentation, our teammates can’t perform optimally, and our customers won’t receive the best level of care.

Accurate process documentation allows our company to grow and our teams to flourish.

In this guide, we’ll break down the ins and outs of how to document a process like a pro.

You’ll be able to:

  • Determine a process name and write its description.
  • Identify the requirements for a process.
  • Document a process.
  • Use engaging styling and multimedia elements.
  • Review a process for accuracy.
  • Identify an owner for a process.
  • Publish and assign a process.
  • Manage a process long-term.

Step-by-Step Guide to Documenting a Process

Identify the Process

First, let’s identify and name the process.

To identify the right process to document, you need a clear understanding of the business’ needs and the areas of collaboration or delegation. Then, you’ll want to give the process a name and description. That way, you know exactly where to begin defining and remain aligned to the process parameters.

Documenting your process description is a lot like documenting project requirements to avoid scope creep. A clear definition of the process allows you to define the scope of what you’ll document.

  1. Choose the process to begin documenting.
  2. Determine the purpose of the process.
  3. Provide a name & brief description.

Here are some key indicators for when to document a process.

Lack of consistency: AKA, if a process is being executed differently every time or there is inconsistency in how tasks are performed. This often shows up via customer feedback and satisfaction surveys.

Lack of clarity: If team members are unclear about the steps, objectives, or outputs of a process, it can lead to confusion and inefficiency.

Lack of scalability: When a process needs to be delegated or replicated, having documentation becomes crucial. It allows new team members to quickly onboard and understand how to execute the process. Process documentation also helps identify areas for optimization and improvement.

Compliance requirements: There may be regulatory or compliance requirements that necessitate process documentation.

Training and knowledge transfer: Process documentation serves as a valuable training tool for new employees and reduces the time it takes for new hires to become productive. It also serves as critical instruction for back-up coverage during PTO or sick time.

Process complexity: If a process is complex or involves multiple stakeholders, documenting it can help ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and the overall flow of the process.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): If a process is tied to a company KPI, documenting the process can ensure the best chance at hitting your targets and improving as needed to optimize performance. 

Process Name Guiding Considerations :

  • Does the process name clearly label what this process is instructing?
  • Is the process name easily searchable?
  • What is the optimal outcome once this process has been completed?

✅ At the end of this step your process should have a name and description.

Define the Process

Next, you’ll want to define the process.

This is likely where you’ll spend the most time gathering the details of how this process is performed.

  1. Create a process outline in real-time as the steps are performed by a subject matter expert. 
  2. Place the steps in a sequential order to create a process flow.
  3. Define who will be responsible for each step. (Use job titles — not names. This way, you don’t need to update the process each time there's a change in ownership.)

Pro Tip: When defining the process, include both stakeholders and those who are impacted by the process to ensure no steps are missed and avoid creating process silos. 

Guiding Considerations:

  • What does success look like when this process is completed?
  • If any, what SOPs currently exist for this process?
  • Where does the process start (step one)?
  • Where does the process end (final step)?
  • Who is responsible for or impacted by this process? 
  1. Affected/responsible departments.
  2. Customers.
  3. Vendors.
  • How often is this process performed? 
  • How long should this process take?
  • What important dates or times of year should this process include? 
  • Are there any laws, regulations, contracts, or compliance standards this process must adhere to?
  • What systems or websites are used?
  • What forms, reports or materials are used?
  • What notes are required in the system? What paperwork must be completed?
  • What templates may be required or recommended for customer communication?
  • What e-mails or updates are sent/received?
  • What videos or screenshots can be used to support process understanding?
  • What talk tracks or service examples may be needed?
  • What should be done when something needs to be escalated?
  • Are there any exceptions to this process?
  • Are there verification, approval or audit checkpoints required?
  • Is management or peer review needed?
  • Are there any KPIs tied to this process?

✅ At the end of this step, you should have clear bullets outlining the requirements of this process to be used in the next step of starting your first draft. 

Manage the Process

Now you’ll want to ensure this process has an owner. 

Process ownership is imperative for longevity and continuous improvement. The owner is the person responsible for this process going forward, including any updates or changes. This could be the subject matter expert or the leader of the department overseeing the process.

  1. Assign an owner to this process.
  2. Schedule when this process should be updated by the owner for accuracy.
  3. Set an expiration date on this process if it requires annual review by team members.

Pro Tip: Never leave a documented process unassigned and always ensure processes are assigned to new owners if one exits the company. 

Guiding Considerations :

  • Who is the go-to person to answer questions or make updates to this process?
  • Who is this process being delegated to? 
  • When is this process scheduled to be reviewed again for accuracy? By whom? Where should it be scheduled?

✅ At the end of this step you should know who is responsible for this process and who to go to with questions.

Write the Process

Now, let’s write the process.

Processes should ultimately have a clear purpose, step-by-step instruction, and endpoint (AKA, the expected outcome once the process is complete). 

  1. Begin by providing the reader with context as to what the process is and why it’s important to follow it — the purpose. People want to know what impact the process has and by now you’re charged with that information!
  2. Document the main topics and steps that show exactly how the process is performed. 
  3. Call out any of the important elements discovered during your research of defining the process, like software, forms, approvals, communications etc. 
  4. Clearly state how the process ends and the outcome expected.
  5. Recap the main steps to confirm understanding.

Pro Tip: Follow the 20/80 rule – document the 20% that produces 80% of the results.

Having trouble writing? Use your outlined bullets from defining the process in Trainual’s AI tool, Compose — it’ll write your first draft of the process in minutes!

You can also check out
Trainual Templates for 100s of (free) documented processes to get you started!

Guiding Considerations :

  • Are the process steps clear, logically ordered, and simple to follow?
  • Is the information provided defined and easy to understand?
  • Is the date this process was created/last updated documented?
  • What questions might others have when following this process?

✅ At the end of this step you should have a clearly documented process that is easy to follow. 

Design the Process

Let’s not forget to design the process. 

This is where you improve the clarity and comprehension of your documentation. Well-designed processes are critical for training engagement, and you’ll need different forms of media to accommodate different learning styles. 

  1. Add supporting videos, graphics, screenshots, etc. to your process. You can add videos that demonstrate how to perform the process in a system or add diagrams that can help your employees visualize complex steps. Plus, you should include pictures/screenshots to add context and visual clarity.
  2. Add bolding, color coding, and line breaks to make content easier to digest.
  3. Cut any unnecessary words and materials to focus on the process at hand.
  4. Add links to any supporting materials or other processes that further explain or support complex steps.
  5. Clearly call out who to go to with questions about the process. 

Pro Tip:  Videos are a powerful way to drive home the importance of a process or showcase how something is done without an overload of screenshots. Videos don’t need to be “Hollywood-quality” productions. In fact, the more raw and genuine they are, the more relevant they will feel to team members. 

Guiding Considerations :

  • Is there enough content for visual or auditory learners?
  • Are there any distractions that take away from the simplicity of this process?

✅ At the end of this step you should have a clear, engaging process that serves a variety of learners.

Check out Trainual University or register to attend Super Awesome Training Design to learn how to add images, videos and styling to bring your processes to life and increase engagement. 

Check out this example process.

Review the Process

It’s time to review the process to make sure it’s right.

Process accuracy is imperative to the customer experience, the team’s ability to own their work, and best practices for our company’s bottom line. 

  1. Review the process for accuracy.
  2. Ask someone else to review the process.
  3. Fill in any gaps that come up during the review. 

Pro Tip: Have someone review the process while performing it to verify accuracy.

Guiding Considerations :

  • Has the SOP been reviewed by those who perform the process? 
  • Has the SOP been reviewed by the department manager (if necessary)? 
  • Has the team been given an opportunity to provide input or feedback?
  • Does this process align with our company's core values?

✅ At the end of this step, you should be confident that this process is accurate and ready to share with others.

Assign the Process

Woohoo! Now it’s time to share this process with the team.

  1. Assign this process to anyone who performs it and is required to complete it.
  2. Provide viewing access to anyone who needs to know the information. 

Pro Tip: Share the process with the team and drop the link in our company’s communication channel.

Guiding Considerations :

  • What roles or departments are affected by this process? 
  • Who needs to know this process when someone is on PTO/sick leave?
  • What is the due date for review of this process? 

✅ By the end of this step, this process should be published and actively searchable by those assigned to it. 


Remember, providing good instruction is your responsibility as a business leader, and if you can master that, you're halfway to making sure everyone on your team is doing their jobs the best way possible. (The other half is 1:1 time spent training.) This reduces poor performance, improves communication, increases employee retention and morale through autonomy, and provides a path to promote those who perform these tasks.

Additionally, we’ll see improvements in compliance, revenue, operating costs and impact on our bottom line year-over-year.

When our company thrives, our team does too!

Struggling to get your team to document processes? See how to get your employees to document processes and then check out this change champion program template!

Similar Templates

No items found.