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How to Get Started Writing Policies & Procedures

Policy & procedure manualYou've taken the big step and incorporated your business. Now, the corporate guidelines say you need a written policies and procedures manual for your company. Or you've been in business for years, but your policies and procedures need to be clarified and updated. In either case, you are about to begin writing formal policies and procedures for your company.

Using the format of an exisiting policy and procedure manual saves time by not having to start from scratch, right?

Well, not necessarily...

Using a weak starting point can hurt employee usability, introduce confusion and user-error, and may not assist in your compliance and control objectives. The result could set your project back further and cost you even more time to fix it later. But it doesn't have to.

Drive Performance Improvement
If your policies and procedures are incomplete, outdated or inconsistent, then you are probably not driving the performance improvement you intended. And by improving your business, you can save money and help increase customer satisfaction.

Improve Your Results
To be confident you're buying a procedure template that gets the job done quickly and correctly, it's important to examine its basic elements. Take a moment to view the following features that you should be using, and also learn how to benefit with such crucial time-saving features as:

• An ISO 9000 compliant layout for easier readability;
• A clear and concise header block to ensure a procedure communicates the purpose and scope;
• Clear department responsibilities that identify who does what;
• Key term definitions to reduce confusion;
• Measures of effectiveness to quantify outcomes;
• References to related documents to improve usability;
• Listing of applicable laws or regulations to communicate compliance;
• Detailed list of revisions to track edit history;
• Forms to ensure proper control and record keeping.

Writing Policies and Procedures
Procedures should be action oriented, grammatically correct, and written in a consistent style and format to encourage maximum usability. This will result in an increase in both effectiveness and efficiency.

Improve Performance in All Departments
You can improve your procedures for many departments, improving performance and results:
• Customer Service
• Finance
• Information Technology
• Sales & Marketing
• Engineering
• Human Resources
• Security & Disaster Recovery
• Manufacturing & Production

Best Practices Saves Time
With more effective and efficient features, you can finish your policies and procedures project sooner. A core set of “best practices” policies, procedures and forms will begin to save you time right away.

About the Author...
Chris Anderson has over 18 years of sales, marketing and business management experience working with business process design, software and systems engineering. He is also co-author of policies and procedures manual products, producing the layout, process design and implementation to increase performance. He is currently the Managing Director of Bizmanualz, Inc.

More about writing policies and procedures around the Web:

Four Techniques for Writing Policies and Procedures

EServer TC Library - Policies & Procedures

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