The right documentation underpinning the process/project can mean the difference between success and failure. At each level, staff needs to be enabled with day to day answers to day to day problems. When the office stretches across continents, and spans several time zones, managing and making knowledge accessible is absolutely critical.

Documenting a process involves four main phases:

  • Documenting process/work flows
  • Mapping roles
  • Mapping risk
  • Drafting escalation matrixes, training materials and knowledge mining strategies

The ideal process/work flow should capture:

  • Offshoring viability of the tasks
  • Skillsets involved in the tasks
  • Time taken for task
    • Average
    • Dispersion
  • Sources of information flowing in
  • Interdependencies of information
  • Superiority quotients of information

The ideal role map should provide an idea about the educational, experiential and attitudinal fit for all the roles involved in carrying out the process/work.

It should clarify for example, that only somebody with 2-3 years litigation experience in a High Court in India, on the civil side, who then went on to do at least 3 years with a US oriented LPO process, can carry out the final reviews for “ABC” documents.

The ideal risk map should categorize technological, operational. regulatory and other risk occurring at each stage of the process, assign a score to each sub-process and an overall score to the process. These maps feed into the Quality Plan and Quality templates prepared during operations.

Escalation Matrixes serve two purposes, they combine the learning from the risk maps and the process/work flows to ascertain what must definitely be escalated, and they allow a structure of the “plain vanilla” process to emerge out. This is essential for the operations team, who must develop a good eye for identifying and managing new unacceptable risks, over time.

Training material can be broadly divided into:

Domain Training - E.g. US Intellectual Property Rights Regime

Process Training - E. g. Steps to be taken while doing a patentability/prior art search.

Software Training - Using Dolphion or STN appropriately