How To Prepare Your Business Procedures Manual:
Section 1: Development of Policy and Procedure Statements
Business Process Quality
A collection of procedures is known as a process. Every business has a series of core business process that define the business model that that company uses. A company’s business model forms the basis of the company’s competitive advantage.
Quality is the result of having easily reproducible and repeatable processes. Standards such as ISO 9000 characterize quality as consistency. Quality is not an objective measure. If you can easily repeat the same result, consistently over time, then you have quality.
The key is consistent results from a well-defined process that can be measured, analyzed, and adjusted over time. This is the essence of process management. With controlled processes, procedures, policies, and forms you have the foundation to build your quality program.
One of the goals of producing a business procedures manual is to document the core business processes that produce the optimal business model. The optimal model will be easy to understand, repeat, and replicate by other employees, in other offices, over time. It will produce consistent results, profits, and morale. Consistency reduces risk and uncertainty producing a more stable company.
Before you begin organizing and compiling information in preparation for writing your business procedures manual, you should evaluate the following steps:
- Choose the personnel who will have the authority and responsibility for preparing the sections of the manual and who will have the ultimate authority over the entire manual.
- Determine the desired content of the manual including what should and should not go into the manual.
- Outline the major sources of information for the manual.
- Determine the proper communication format for your policy and procedure statements to ensure that all company employees write them for clarity and thorough understanding.
- Determine the final format and organization of the manual.
Other parts in this section include responsibility for preparing the business procedures manual, top ten management mistakes and manual development process.
Section 2: Installation Instructions
Contains the installation, editing and printing instructions for the manual.
Section 3: The Business Policy and Procedure Manual
Includes sections on style and format, considerations when writing your business procedures manual, manual revisions and sources of additional information.
Section 4: Common Areas of Interest in Written Communications
Addresses communication and writing issues like sexism, number usage, thought organization, outlining and format.
Section 5: Content of the Business Procedures Manual
The simplest way to begin this area is to list all policy and procedure statements that presently exist in either a written form or through verbal understanding. Then expand this list by adding areas that you or other employees feel are important to your business operations.
This section also includes a sample policy and procedure checklist and discusses authorization, production and distribution and revision and updates.