Documentation

Business Playbook: a Complete Guide

Automation has come a long way, especially in branched-out forms like the business playbook. Here's how to make your own.

Introduction

Every functioning system or process requires a good amount of organization and direction to work effectively.

Simply having a goal that needs to be accomplished becomes inadequate for maintaining good work processes. This is where the important concept of playbooks comes into play. A playbook, in general, is something that calls out the basic features and default functioning of a system, including the legislations and measures that need to be followed with every possible incident.

With businesses in mind, the business playbook becomes crucial for the smooth functioning of a firm, be it big or small. This is essential to maintain the focus of your workers and allow for good reason in the workplace. Here is all you need to know about the business playbook and how you can make use of it in your setup.

What is a business playbook?

Also called the corporate playbook or the process playbook, this is a one-stop device that makes an account of all the important details of your company. This is inclusive of the processes that you take up, policies, and the general SOPs or standard operating procedures. Through this playbook, one should be able to understand the general outline of your firm, starting from the general responsibilities to the complex strategies involved.

With proper management of your business playbook, you will be able to maintain a highly productive business development process flow, thanks to the highly organized and crisp processing it has to offer.

Components of a business playbook

Since every business comes with a wide number of sections dedicated to each aspect involved, it is ideal for the playbook to have specified elements within as well.

Hence, every playbook for business comes with a detailed selection of information spread out into four core sections. They are as follows.

  1. Company profile.
  2. Company workforce.
  3. Company policies.
  4. Operating processes.

All these components are put up in such a way that they combine to provide an accurate yet short description of what is what.

This allows employees to avoid any confusion and get a good idea of their jobs and expectations to be fulfilled. This becomes especially helpful in giant organizations that have several wings which are unrelated and also in the case of new recruits. 

How does this work?

In simple terms, a business playbook is just like the user’s manual you get when you purchase something new.

For example, let's say you buy a new electronic appliance, say a refrigerator. As a default, every manufacturer or distributor provides you with an elaborate booklet that contains info on almost everything concerning the refrigerator. This is inclusive of the details of giant importance like switching on and maintenance, and also rather menial ones like how to clean out your fridge or so. 

For these details and instructions to make sense, you require a decent amount of knowledge about the basic framework and functioning system of the fridge, which is explained in the first part of this booklet. 

The same applies to your business playbook as well. The different components of your playbook for business make sure that you clearly understand each and every position and task carried out by the varying wings under your firm.

The only major difference is that you will have to frame your business playbook on your own, depending upon the functioning of your firm. This is also made easy these days with the availability of business playbook templates and other helpful tools.

Doing this also makes you familiar with the basic workflow and the general policies within the company that holds significance. The process playbook is formatted in such a way that a person who is clear with the manual can comfortably make his way around the business without being subject to any major missteps or inconveniences. This in itself is a major positive, provided the scale of different businesses these days.

Without a proper system for project management, like your business playbook, you put your company at risk of several hazards which arise due to careless faults.

This is crucial for the overall smooth functioning of your firm, as menial mistakes like this might build on to create significant boulders along the way.

Why do you need a business playbook?

The size of your company is not a deciding factor on any account. Regardless, having a business playbook for process documentation can be a game-changer for all organizations, big or small. This is because smooth functioning and development are something that can help every firm invariably.

This is because documentation goes a long way, especially with the current environment in the field of business. Having a neatly maintained record of your endeavors can be crucial in times of need.

Benefits of a business playbook

Clearly, computerized means of data arrangement and management has a significant number of perks in general terms of security and accuracy. Here are a few specific advantages of having a business playbook to make you consider creating one for your own business.

1. Better alignment

By making a business playbook with set sections and divisions, explaining the details of a task or delegating specific workforces towards certain wings becomes very clear. This leaves little to no space for any mistake, hence saving a significant amount of time when seen from a distant perspective. 

It also makes sure that all the members understand the instructions clearly, setting them straight on a linear path. 

2. Accountability

Making use of such designated sections and definite outlines supported by automated means allows for the easy location of flaws and mistakes which arise within the process. Since the actions are recorded through automation software like Scribe, the workers can be held accountable with confidence. It also becomes much easier to explain and correct their faults while avoiding any unnecessary conflicts.

3. Reliability & accuracy

Improved automation provides you with the benefit of perfect accuracy and helps you put up reliable data on your playbook. The details on the playbook, being concrete, allow you to gain good confidence among your workers, thereby letting you gain a better rapport and image among your workers. A happy and satisfied workforce goes a really long way in any business, irrespective of the scale.

4. Keep track of your function

With your playbook being managed efficiently and updated frequently, you will be left with a highly informative collection of data that is perfectly accurate. This playbook is also easily replicable once you acquire the means and skill. This makes it a form of backup as well.

Having good access to your company’s data is a major advantage when you look at it from the aspect of troubleshooting. You can easily review your statistics and functioning. The clear framework allows you to locate and fix these issues without any hassle.

Building your own business playbook

From the above information, it has become evident that creating your own business playbook from scratch is one of the best ways to boost your path toward business process improvement. A highly efficient business setup is what helps drive towards being a successful firm. Hence, the process of building your playbook is of utmost importance, which is why it is recommended that you build it with the help of several professionals who specialize in the various sectors of your business. 

Firstly, you will have to pick out competent individuals who excel in their own fields within the business establishment. By doing this, you also make sure that each section is written up by the best possible person for the job while not putting on too much of a workload on a single person. There are also many self-explanatory how-to guides that can help your team with this aspect.

Simply looking at how to make a playbook might seem like a taxing process. But in reality, building a business playbook isn’t actually that hard. This is because most of the data and process details to be recorded are already available for usage, and you simply have to arrange them in most cases. Hence, you simply have to capture and record the everyday processes and policies which are already in action at your business service.

Prepare an audit of your company

The first step to creating a process playbook for your business is to make a list of every process and step which are being followed in the function of your company. This includes the regular work taken up by each team, including a note on the policies which are implemented within these processes along the way. This allows you to complete two segments of your work at once. However, do not compromise on the reliability and accuracy of the information your record in your audit, as it forms the foundation of your entire playbook.

As mentioned earlier, it is best to start designating specific teams to specific fields or sections within your company. This will make sure that your teams are clearly acclimatized to their tasks and avoid missing out on any details. Following this, it is important to have everyone on the team on the same page, This can be achieved through interactive meetings and one-on-one interviews to explain the process to your team.

You can also go an extra step and keep track of every task and information shared at these meetings. This allows you to maintain a single, easily accessible platform with all the details regarding the status and other details of the playbook.

Collecting accurate data

Data collection is one of the most important steps of creating your business playbook as it is concerned with the overall accuracy and reliability of the entire book itself. Hence, it is crucial to make use of secure means of a collection with additional security support. This is where automation tools like Scribe could be of great use. This tool works by recording all that you have on your device once you set up your extension. This allows you to have a detailed segment to stand as proof of your impartial and trustworthy collection and entry of data. 

Organize your data

Once your teams are done with collecting ample information and have come up with an effective framework, you will have to start arranging your data.

Keeping a neatly organized set of information in a single destination is most appropriate as it improves accessibility as well as reliability. It is important that you arrange this information in such a way that it is easily understandable to anyone and is in a simple conversational tone. Try and avoid any jargon, and do not skip out on any steps, big or small.

As you clean up your data and arrange them appropriately, it is recommended that you edit your content simultaneously. Keep an eye out for repetitions, which is highly likely, as you have different teams working towards a single goal of creating a clear playbook for your business. Standardize your playbook in such a way that it holds a consistent tone throughout. 

While choosing the order in which you put up your data, it is sufficing for you to simply put in policies and programs under the departments that will need them. Ideally, maintain a common list of programs and policies which everyone will need, along with a progeny of the same species to each department or section within the playbook.  

Share

Sharing your playbook with people who are unfamiliar with your work and are not involved in the process of making your playbook is helpful in giving you an idea of the functionality of your playbook as a whole.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, a business playbook is generally a sophisticated manual or a guide to your company itself. Being a complete guide, it covers almost all the basic cornerstones of your business. With such a concise expression of your business, you will be able to develop and store your data in a more organized setting and helping you with streamlining business processes.