By now, many entrepreneurs and business leaders have spent hundreds of hours in Zoom, Google Meet, and/or Microsoft Teams meetings. But have you thought about leveraging video to improve the asynchronous parts of your work?
Screen recording is one of the most important tools for making your team truly remote, asynchronous, and autonomous.
Remote environments don’t allow us to lean over our desk and ask our colleague to take a peek at something we’re working on. So platforms like Loom are essentially the remote version of “can you come over here and look at this for a second?”
Small businesses can grow fast. Land one large client or government contract and they will likely grow really fast! Business owners need to ensure quality training for everyone joining the team. And as the company grows, their processes will shift. Adding screen recording links to SOPs helps manage and communicate those shifts. This is why, for me, one of the most important uses of screen recording is to document your processes for operational scale and training.
When you can’t physically teach a new teammate a process, you can record a Zoom work session and have them document the steps then follow them to complete the task. For new clients, you can record a Loom video to introduce the team as part of your onboarding package. Videos show your graphic designer your changes to a marketing asset, or in the reverse, a designer can send a Loom to walk through your new presentation or pitch deck. All of this adds a personal touch to your business while also cutting down misunderstandings.
The LVL-Up team uses the Loom platform. I know there are others out there too, but Loom is what I’ll focus on for the rest of this article. Why do you need to put a little more planning and polish into your process documentation recordings? Because:
they are watched over and over for training or as internal references;
they are dissected by a technical writing team to write out and/or diagram the steps; and
they are used to build processes that are repeatable.
Here are my five best tips for using video recording and screen sharing technologies to record processes and steps for documentation.
Tip #1: Review the Steps Prior to Recording
Before recording your instruction video, ensure you know the steps in your mind. While you do not need to write out your instructions before recording (which likely defeats your goal of saving time), you should mentally review the steps to be sure you know the sequence you will be sharing.
Tip #2: Go Through the Motions of the Steps Prior to Recording
Before recording, test out the modules, windows, and documents you will be sharing to ensure they are not glitching or that you’re not missing something (like a pesky login password). This is especially important if you are going to be sharing your screen and recording how you are performing the tasks quickly (see Tip #1).
Tip #3: Pause the Video As Needed
As you are recording, if you veer off your internal script or draw a blank, it’s okay to pause yoru video. Take a moment to adjust as needed, and then push play to continue. If you are working with a process documentation team, be sure to give your team members "edit access” to the video so that they can cut parts of the video that are not intended to be shared or reviewed at large. Loom allows you to edit out filler words (e.g., “uh,” “um,” etc.) and parts of the video before sharing.
Tip #4: Break Out the Steps in Smaller Chunks if it’s a Long Process
If you are working on longer processes, consider breaking the steps into smaller chunks. This is because:
For those documenting these processes, it will be helpful to identify breaks and phases; and
Shorter videos are easier to digest for those watching the video steps for reference or training. People are more likely to watch a 4-minute video to refresh their memory rather than a 20-minute one.
Tip #5: Never Share PII on any Video Recordings
You should always plan to NEVER share any personally identifiable information on video recordings. If the process you are recording involves Personally Identifiable Information (PII), you can do one of the following:
Share a non-PII screen (or a blank screen) and continue to record your audio to describe your steps;
Remove the PII from the page you are recording; or
Skip recording these steps via video and go straight into writing the process. If you are working with a process documentation team, review the steps with them in real-time without recording.
Keep in mind how you share your content, as well. If you do not want viewers to see who else has viewed or commented, download your videos and share from a secure platform such as Dropbox with a password or individual Google Drive links with secured sharing settings.
How do I start documenting my processes?
Still not sure where to start? We got you! Download our free SOP checklist to start documenting your first process.