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Core Process Mastery: From Identification to Implementation

Editor's Note: Kris Snyder is a Professional EOS Implementer® who has worked with more than 50 clients and facilitated over 300 session days, all Powered by Ninety.

Mastering and documenting Core Processes is not just a task; it's a strategic move rooted in the EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) framework. Helping my clients document their Core Processes is an insightful journey that leads them to execute their most strategic, value-adding procedures as planned every time. The first step is not just a decision — it’s a commitment.

In this article, I’ll guide you from the initial identification of these processes to their simple documentation, emphasizing the importance of clarity, consistency, and effective communication to achieve Followed by All (FBA).

Along the way, you’ll understand how proper EOS process documentation aligns everyone with your company's vision, defines roles, measures performance, and addresses issues promptly. The result? Enhanced efficiency, sharper decision-making, and a trajectory toward unparalleled business success.

Key points

  • Core Processes are vital to business operations, eliminating frustration, reducing mistakes, and enabling a greater focus on innovation and problem-solving.
  • Reviewing each of the main areas of your operations will help you identify the 8–14 Core Processes you’ll want Followed By All.
  • Documenting your Core Processes ensures they become a living part of your business, regularly referred to and updated, to allow for successful implementation.

Understanding Core Processes

Core Processes are the backbone of your organization. They are the systematic series of steps taken to achieve a business goal. Think of Core Processes as the playbook for your business operations — from production to sales and customer service.

When assessing your Core Processes, consider the Pareto principle: for many outcomes, about 80% of the results stem from 20% of causes. While this is not a mathematical axiom, the principle can help you determine which of your common routines create the most value for you, and, therefore, need to be documented and Followed by All.

With EOS, we coach that you go 20% deep into the process to achieve 80% of the results. If you’re looking for 100%, then you’re looking at a project that has a 0% chance of getting done.

For example, documenting these processes is not just about writing down a series of steps; it’s about creating a simple checklist that is easily understood and can be followed by anyone. One to ten pages… but hopefully closer to one page. As we know, less is more until it's not.

When everyone is following the same processes, this uniformity eliminates frustration, reduces mistakes, and, most importantly, frees up your team to focus on innovation and problem-solving.

How to Identify Your Core Processes

Identifying your Core Processes starts with reviewing each of the main areas of your business operations. This includes examining how your product or service is made or delivered, how your sales team operates, and how customer service is handled.

You’re probably used to tools like flowcharts and process maps for visual aids. When I’m in a session with my clients, I help them draw their process on a whiteboard and list all the steps involved. As we refine the Core Process, we add the documentation directly into Ninety’s Process tool.

The key to this approach is to start with either the end in mind or truly at the beginning. Most businesses have 8–14 Core Processes: HR, Sales, Marketing, 2–3 Operating, Customer Service, Customer Success, Accounting, IT, and so on.  

Documentation: Simplification Is Key

Effective documentation goes beyond listing steps and sub-steps. It involves:

  • Clearly defining roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities
  • Establishing performance metrics
  • Setting up protocols for resolving issues

The goal is to create a document that is a living part of your business, regularly referred to and updated.

Check out this video from Christine Watts, Ninety’s Head of Client Success and Chief of Staff, for more details on how our Process tool can bring this Key Component to life.

Implementation: Packaging Core Processes to Bring them to Life

After documenting your Core Processes, it’s time to implement them. Doing so involves training your teams, and then measuring, managing, and updating the documented process to ensure everyone can follow each process.

It’s crucial to have strategies to address challenges and resistance to change. For example, some members of your team will be relieved to have the form and structure of a documented process. Others will need the changes made to their workflow as seamless as possible.

You know your team members best. Will they need short video explanations of the major steps? Is a group or one-on-one meeting better to talk through each process?

Regular training sessions and open communication channels are key to successful implementation.

“Running EOS powered by Ninety is a game changer that brings so many pieces of our business together…it has changed the way we manage our organization and especially our processes.”

— Richard Hamlin, CFO of The Reserve Group

Forever Work: Train, Measure, Manage, and Update

Mike Paton and Lisa González wrote the book Process! as part of The Traction Library. It is an amazing guide for helping you with this section of the Process journey. If you have an entrepreneurial, growth-driven organization, it’s a guarantee your processes will continue to evolve.

This requires the mindset that Process is continuous work. It’s a journey, not a destination. To that end, we need the ability and tools to cycle through the Followed by All Checklist, which has four stages:

  1. Train
  2. Measure
  3. Manage
  4. Update

Regular reviews and updates are critical for ongoing process improvement with EOS. You’ll want to ensure your documentation accurately reflects current practices and aligns with the evolving needs of the business.

Achieve Followed by All — Powered by Ninety

With EOS Powered by Ninety, updating your processes is simple and efficient through the Process tool — and more importantly, Shared by All in the platform so they can be Followed by All in your company. 

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