How to Write A Good Procedure

In any field, whether it be manufacturing, medical, construction or even food service it is important that most, if not all tasks and processes have a written procedure. Having written procedures and regularly refining them not only improves the way your company does business but provides a back-up plan in case of the unexpected. Events such as a trusted employee coming down ill, resigning or otherwise becoming unavailable to train a new person for the task they performed can be very detrimental. Having a how-to guide for the many tasks involved in running your business can be a life-saver and prevent major headaches. Writing up these documents can seem like a daunting endeavor, especially to someone who is not accustomed to writing regularly but following a few basic steps can make it a much simpler task.

Gather Information

The first step to developing a good procedure is getting to know the process you are writing about. Take the time to sit down and observe the task first hand. Get to know the people involved and take lots of notes on what they do. From there, write an outline of basic steps review them with the employees closest to the job.

Break Down the Process into Steps

Starting from the beginning of the task start to list the operations in the order in which they take place. Don’t dwell on making them too detailed, as this can bog you down. At this point an outline that is concise and to the point is most important. The finer details can be added and refined later. Make sure to keep your words simple and easy to follow.

Review Information and Add Information If Necessary

Once you have your procedure written it is time to walk through the steps and make sure they can be understood. Sometimes it is necessary to go back to observing the process again first hand and make sure everything flows according to the steps you have documented. It can be helpful to have a third party to review it with you to provide a different perspective and hopefully catch anything you may have missed or point out things that may be hard to understand.

Make the Information Available To Those Who May Need It

Once finished, publish the procedure in a place that can be easily accessible to those who need it. It is waste to spend time creating a procedure and then have it not be read. Make it a part of regular training and new hire implementation.

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