Procedures are created and implemented with the sole intention to be read and used by the user community. Always keep the audience in mind when writing procedures. Write the procedure to reflect this level of technology. Every department has its own language. Therefore, the procedures must be developed using the terms to which the department members are accustomed.
The procedures must be written in a logical and flowing manner so that the reader can understand the meaning. If the text is not properly planned, the possibility is great that the intended audience will not clearly understand what is expected of them. The procedure must be broken up into easily digestible bits of information. Do not expect the user to read a long and involved passage and then successfully execute the appropriate processes.
Use Clear, Familiar Words.
The procedure’s intended audience will not be pleased if they are confronted with a document filled with words, expressions, and acronyms with which they are unfamiliar. It will be important to have a definition section in some procedures. This should be done up front and provide the reader with whatever is necessary to complete the process at hand.
Keep Sentences Short and Simple.
Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Long sentences increase the level of user frustration and decrease the level of user understanding. An appropriate average sentence length for procedures is between ten and fifteen words.
Table of Contents
Discuss what the procedure is attempting to accomplish in general terms.
Briefly describe the process that the procedure is going to cover. (e.g., implementing a UNIX user ID request).
Current VersionVersion 1.0Creation DateMonth ##, YYYYPersonnel ResponsibleDepartmentLast Approval Date Month ##, YYYYDistribution of DocumentDisbursed to all employees of FormAssembly.Signature(s) of Final ApprovalDepartment or Individual
- The Governing Policy of this Procedure (If there is one.)
Identify who is to perform what steps in the procedure. Use job functions rather than individual names.
Sequence of events
It is very important for the user to understand the timing and conditions for performing the tasks identified in the procedure. Some tasks are not executed at a specific time but must be performed when a specific condition is met.
Identify any necessary approvals and when these approvals must be met. Approvals will be obtained prior to the execution of the procedure process.
List any preconditions that must be met before starting the procedure process.
Remember the audience. It will be beneficial to include a discussion of any terms and acronyms that are included in the body of the procedure.
Some tasks, if operated in an improper sequence, could cause severe damage to the enterprise. Identify those key tasks and review the importance of understanding exactly when the task is to be executed and under what set of circumstances.
These are the actual steps to be performed in the execution of the procedure.
##-#A. EXAMPLE: Involuntary Termination of Employment for FormAssembly Inc. employees
Use Divider if the procedure document is broken up into two.
##-#B. EXAMPLE: Company initiated Termination of Independent Contractor Agreement
DateVersionCreated byDescription of changeYYYY-MM-DD1.0Type @The initial creation of Procedure.