Understanding a process is a big part in simplifying and streamling the process. Time Ferris has an amazing blog post that gets right to the point. Here is a quote:
The Importance of Documentation
Early on in my business, I had a team member who would not document her processes, no matter how many times I asked, begged, and pleaded.
I spent hours coaching her on how to do it. I offered to hire someone to walk her through the process and essentially create the system for her. All to no avail. She eventually admitted to me that she thought that if she documented what she did, then I would just let her go. She seemed to think that standardizing might render her useless, as if it were somehow like mechanizing her job. Or maybe she thought that if I saw what she really did I wouldn’t think she was doing a good job. I told her that I wanted to standardize her tasks so her job would be easier and improve workflow throughout the organization. And furthermore, at this point, if she didn’t document and standardize her tasks I would be forced to hire someone to fill her shoes. Sadly, she didn’t come around and we parted ways.
Of course, this was ultimately my responsibility for not making documentation of process a standard procedure during the hiring process.
I know better now and have built into the hiring process a system of testing the ability of potential new hires to document a number of tasks. That way I can assess in advance of hiring them if they can and will do it.
You can’t become more efficient without measurement, and documentation is the starting point for measurement.