Productivity & Execution

The simple plan for systematization: minimum viable procedures

How to use Minimum Viable Procedures to document your business operations.

A lack of predictable systems can make your business inefficient. However, despite the obvious benefits, systematization can often seem like a massive undertaking.

If you don’t begin systematizing, growing, and scaling your business now, over the long term it will prove far more difficult. If you are feeling overwhelmed at the process, begin more simply. Minimum Viable Procedures (or MVPs) can help you set your systematization plan in motion without a lot of added effort. Read on to see how.

What Are Minimum Viable Procedures?

Every business has tasks that need to be performed on a recurring basis. A Minimum Viable Procedure is the easiest way to begin documenting a repetitive task. It’s a simple outline that shows just the steps involved in any given task. By prioritizing documenting these procedures as soon as possible you can continue to perform these tasks with more ease.

If you want to document a procedure in full, you must document all of the steps included and minute details within each step, this documentation is what often becomes the tedious part of the process. However, with a Minimum Viable Procedure, you only need the title of the task itself, and the title of each step within the task. This is an excellent starting place in moving towards a more systematized business.

In summary, a Minimum Viable Procedure is a big-picture view of the instructions an employee must follow to complete a task.

How Minimum Viable Procedures Can Make Systematization Easy

There are essentially three major advantages to beginning with a MVP:

  1. You can save a lot of time by creating a MVP because it’s less work than documenting an entire procedure from start to finish
  2. MVPs can increase your effectiveness, considering that even a general outline can help you work through repetitive tasks with more efficiency
  3. Once a Minimum Viable Procedure is created, you can pass it onto a team member to flesh out the details in full – in other words, you can work with your employees to turn a MVP into a fully documented procedural document

Getting Started With Your Minimum Viable Procedures

A MVP doesn’t take a lot of time to complete, but if you’re really strapped for time, you can simply write out one step in the procedure at a time.

For example, if you have a 20-step procedure, you could simply write out the title of each procedure over the course of a month – which has 20 business days in total – and have the MVP fully completed. Or, while you are working on a task, simply write down the steps in the procedure sequentially, one at a time.

Your Minimum Viable Procedure can then be used as a base for full documentation, where exact instructions involved in each step of the procedure are written down.

Are You Ready To Start Crafting Your Minimum Viable Procedures?

If you’re ready to take on the next step and begin crafting your MVPs, remember:

  • Take a close look at your business to find out where the bottlenecks are. This should give you a clear idea of what procedures you need to document immediately.
  • Anything that needs to be repeated can be systematized, and should be. You can increase the productivity of your business substantially by having procedures that everyone can follow.
  • Even if you aren’t ready to systematize your entire business, MVPs alone can greatly increase the efficiency of your business and are not hard to create.

Have you documented any procedures in your business using MVPs? Leave a note below explaining how you began the process and how it has helped your company so far.


This is a guest post by Owen McGab Enaohwo. He is the co-founder of SweetProcess, an app that enables you to quickly and easily document how you get repetitive tasks done so that your employees know exactly what to do.

Category: Productivity & Execution

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