Are your people consistently following your procedures? Each year, organizations lose thousands of dollars through common mistakes and lapses in usability. But what does that mean for business owners and executives? How do you improve usage of management procedures?
If you’re unsure about any of the answers to these questions, there is good news: you can make your procedures clear and complete without combing through all of them yourself, line by line. You have invested in your procedures; now ensure you are communicating clear expectations, and your professionalism, with the best tools possible.
To be effective, procedures must be action oriented, grammatically correct, and written in a consistent style and format to ensure usability. These guidelines, along with industry “best practices” that are documented in auditable criteria, can be used :
With a technical writing review, professional technical writers can review and edit your documents. Methodologies have been developed and used by experienced technical writers to strengthen policies and procedures, so you can put efficiency and expertise to work saving you time and hassle. You can eliminate the costly professional headache of poorly written management procedures.
Without knowing it, employees at a local auto parts company were having a costly problem determining when to accept customer credit. The company actually had a detailed credit application procedure, including an exhaustive error correction routine, but the procedure had one fatal flaw: it was not properly indexed.
Without a way to readily locate and reference the applicable procedure in the operations manual, employees could not find it and were simply not using it at all, leading to an inconsistent process and wildly varying output. Potentially valuable customers were regularly turned away by some staff members, while others accepted bad credit risks because they were unsure of which ones to reject.
A small omission like this can add up to thousands of dollars in lost sales and good will. Even the most thorough procedures inevitably have gaps that come from being “too close” to the process or not following the basic rules of effective procedure writing.
If your policies and procedures are incomplete, outdated or inconsistent, then you are probably not driving the performance improvement you intended. Likewise, your management procedures are not getting used as much as they should be. But no matter what your worst procedure headache is, you can eliminate your lapses in usability now and improve to “best practices” standards using a procedure review.