Step 1: Identify the goal for your process
Is there already a process document for the task in question? If so, make a better one.
Step 2: Schedule a meeting to outline potential roadblocks
Invite everyone! Populate the cc line with a dozen mid-level managers.
Step 3: At the meeting, speak only generally about the need for a new process document
Promise to send follow-up emails. Assign tasks. Look like you have a vision.
Step 4: Wait a month
Step 5: Revisit the old process document
Identify steps that can be resequenced. Tweak some of the language. Change the fonts.
Step 6: The Drafting Stage
Email your revision of the old process document to people who were invited to your meeting (Step 2) but were not present. Remember to cc the mid-level managers. Ask for feedback. Deflect any negative comments with, “I see your point. We actually discussed that very aspect at the meeting but the group decided to go in another direction. Thanks for the feedback! It’s really helpful.”
Step 7: Wait three weeks
In conversation, mention to colleagues how much of your time has been swallowed up by the new process document. Remind everyone of how awful the old document was.
Step 8: The Revision Stage
Email the new process document to the people who were present at your meeting (Step 3). In your email, explain that you have run your new document by management and those colleagues who were not able to make the meeting. Offer a hard sell on the idea that this document is a product of the knowledge and insight of the entire group. Deflect any negative feedback with, “Good point. I will discuss this with management. Thanks for weighing in.”
Step 9: Wait three weeks
Look busy. Remind people of how difficult it has been to be the point person for this project.
Step 10: Target individuals
Choose three individuals who have been mildly supportive of your new document. Ask each a direct question about the process. The more inconsequential the more they will feel the need to provide you with a thorough answer. Thank them for their input. Tell them that they’ve really helped you resolve a roadblock.
Step 11: Wait two weeks
Run spell check (again!) on your document.
Step 12: Post the document to an obscure but relevant sharepoint site
Don’t alert anyone to the fact.
Step 13: List the process document development process in your yearly results reports
Sell yourself as a serious and accountable employee.
Later, when asked about the process document, reply with, “Oh yes, that’s been up on the sharepoint site for [however long it’s been]. Haven’t you been using it?”
A wise man once said, "If you want to make a middle manager laugh, tell him about your process documents." Hugo Dos Santos did, and look who's laughing now. Right? Ha! Process docs for everybody!