Want to know how to write a procedures manual? Each procedure manual from Bizmanualz is intended to be a simple, top-to-bottom guide, addressing the minimum set of statements for the administration and creation of a Procedure Management System.
How to Write a Procedures Manual
What should you consider before you write your first policy and procedure manual?
- It is now common practice to use pronouns that are applicable to either sex — “their”, “him or her”, “his or hers”, or the most personal and direct pronoun, “you”.
- Social changes influence policies on on a variety of topics — for example, behavior and health (manners, smoking, physical fitness, etc.).
- To ensure that your system of policies and procedures is in compliance with all applicable standards and legislation, you should have a trusted legal advisor (attorney) review your work.
- Define the terms you use in your manual. Don’t assume everyone will know what you mean. For the convenience of your users, you should place definitions in each procedure, rather than — or, perhaps, in addition to — a separate glossary.
- Every organization is dynamic. As is often said, “Change is the only constant.” Your policies and procedures cannot be static. The business world is always changing, right? The competition isn’t resting on their laurels, are they? This idea that change is all around us means you have to change your policies from time to time just to keep up. Revisions have to be distributed to all personnel who hold a copy of the policy manual in advance of the “effective date”. One more thing before that policy goes into effect, you have to educate, or train, your personnel.
- When making any change to your manual, be aware that the language you use might have an impact — direct or indirect — on other parts of the manual. Choose your words carefully.
- Finally, be sure to keep a clear record of revisions made to the manual.
Each policy and procedure manual, as well as each section of the manual (policies, procedures, etc.), must include a record of revisions — what was changed, when it was changed, and so on. It’s important to keep this revision record up-to-date: it is one way of ensuring that distributed copies of your manual are current. That is, if you’re keeping your manuals in hardcopy form — if you’re using OnPolicy Procedure management software, it automatically maintains a revision record on each document in the system.
Depending on their size and specific business application, some companies require expanded information. For this reason, Bizmanualz, Inc., offers business publications that include detailed, topic-specific manuals, as well as those that are more generic in nature.
Bizmanualz, Inc., is committed to providing professional publications for those business owners and managers dedicated to the development and success of their company. To this end, we continue to publish useful business guides to assist you in learning how to write a manual of procedures.
Sources of Additional Information
With the help of the prewritten policy and procedure documentation provided in every Bizmanualz publication, you should be able to produce effective management systems for most areas of your organization, including HR, Finance, IT, and others. However, you may be able to draw on other sources of information to develop a comprehensive program that truly meets the needs of your organization. These sources may include:
- Industry or trade association publications (e.g., AICPA’s Journal of Accountancy);
- Industry or Sector Guides (e.g., GAAP, IFRS, IEEE standards);
- The company’s legal, financial, and accounting counsel;
- Related company manuals and procedures;
- Internal memos and records;
- Equipment user manuals;
- Customer surveys (formal or informal), proposals, or stated requirements;
- Regulatory agencies (e.g., SEC, IRS, European Medicines Agency);
- Standards organizations (e.g., IASB, ISO, RABQSA); and
- Small business advisory centers (e.g., SBA).
Keeping certain concepts in the forefront — like “change”, “appropriate language”, and others we mentioned above — will help you craft the kind of policies and procedures manuals that will meet or exceed everyone’s needs. Most guidelines presented have immediate use and importance. However, by using the MS-Word documents we provide, you can edit the samples and customize them to your company’s individual needs.