Towards a better understanding of process documentation
Purpose - Process documents are important and widely used process analysis tools. Although scores of studies draw attention to their merits, only few have focused on them. By providing guidelines for effective process documentation, this paper intends to make a contribution to this under researched area. Design/methodology/approach - Qualitative research was undertaken in this study. Based on the findings from the process improvement and knowledge management literatures, background information about process documents and a step-by-step procedure for developing a process document were provided. Findings - There are three important findings of this study. First, process mapping is gaining precedence over process flowcharting/diagramming. Second, process analyzers should be aware of the tacit knowledge of process participants and know how to acquire it. Third, different needs of different organizations require different approaches to documentation. Practical implications - Documenting a process is a very resource demanding process. The step-by-step procedure proposed in this paper will help organizations to use their resources effectively. Originality/value - This study is the first to look at the process documentation issue from different perspectives stemming from the different needs of organizations. It is also the first to mention about the role of the type of process participant's knowledge in developing a process map/flowchart. This paper should be of considerable interest to practitioners. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.