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Retracing your steps

Retracing your steps

This is an important tool for more than just when you’ve lost something. It’s always a good idea to record your moves and be able to retrace your steps. It can come in handy for taxes, in the court of law, and in business. But for example’s sake, let’s say you have lost something—or better yet, someone. Picture this: an essential member of your team will no longer be a part of your mission or project. Not only is this person leaving, but they are going away with the experience they have to tackle familiar problems. In order to avoid a panic, you should always record process. Even if you think it’s cumbersome—that person’s knowledge is invaluable, at least until someone else knows how. You don’t’ have to reinvent the wheel by holding the next person accountable—instead, have the indispensable skills recorded in a binder. It can be used as a training manual and exist for years to come.

Arguably the most important step after actually committing to the “manual” is testing it out. If at all possible, try to utilize the documentation in real-time while the author is still available to make edits. You can measure success qualitatively by asking its readers how comprehensible it is. The person who wrote it is probably well versed in their skill and therefore it may seem intuitive. For a new person it won’t be. Ask what parts were confusing and what can be improved on. Additionally, look for quantitative measurements as well so that it’s understood how well its suited to teach the person the skills. Also, this creates and avenue for improvement as future generations working towards the same project can identify any ineffective or less efficient portions of the process.

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