Process Approach Writing Instruction Manuals

Process approach writing instruction manuals

Process approach writing instruction manuals

It is useful to think of any writing project as a three step process consisting of Plan-Draft-Revise. What is procedure drafting , and how can you create successful drafts to ensure your final written policies and procedures are effective?

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How do you start writing procedures? Procedure drafting is, pretty much, a single activity; that of putting words on a page. We can, however, discuss considerations for creating a successful draft.

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What do we mean by a successful draft? This is different from what is created in the Planning stage such as a process map , outline, or notes and free-writing.

Process approach writing instruction manuals

The end users will never see those things. They will, however, see the document you begin to create as you start your procedure drafting process.

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The point is to not become encumbered and inhibited by trying to create a perfect document the first time. It is important to understand design flow and the difference between iteration and replication. The goal of procedure drafting is to get the writing project off the ground by getting it down coherently in the proper form. Becoming obsessed with perfect grammar, phrasing, and structure with no errors is counterproductive to creating the draft. Plus, it is somewhat freeing to create a draft and call it a draft.

Writing Futures

The word itself implies that it is not finished — a work in process. Now when reviewers point out errors and make suggestions you do not need to take it personally.

They are only helping you work on your draft.

Process approach writing instruction manuals

This perspective can alleviate some of the fear and dread many of us have when it comes to writing. I noted earlier that procedure drafting is an activity in itself, not a group of activities like other writing stages. One thing that could be listed as a separate drafting activity is document design. Some might consider it a Planning activity, but since it deals with creating the finished product I feel it is fair to call it a part of procedure drafting.

Procedure Drafting Using the Process Approach

What form should your procedures take? If you are in an organization with established procedures then this should already be resolved. If it is not, this is an issue that needs to be addressed quickly with those responsible for procedures and the document system.

Process approach writing instruction manuals

Procedures should have a very consistent look and feel throughout the organization, regardless of their purpose or the department or segment in which they are used.

Their appearance should be as familiar and as easily recognizable by organizational members as are other well-known documents such as bills of materials, invoices, and product specifications. It would be difficult and unwieldy to discuss all the formatting and design considerations for procedures here, but I will cover some basic best practices for procedure appearance.

A well-designed procedure should have:.

Process approach writing instruction manuals

Typical sections in a procedure include Purpose stating the goal of the procedure , Scope involved parties and departments , Responsibilities usually by job title , and Definitions of key terms.

After these introductory sections, at Bizmanualz we divide the body of the procedure into Plan-Do-Check-Act sections, reflecting how a continually improving process is structured. For a positive example of procedure document design, view a Vendor Selection Procedure available on our website.

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Your organization, however, should structure its procedures in a way that best meets its needs. Another format consideration is the numbering scheme. Using numbering, as opposed to simple paragraphs, makes the document user friendly since readers can keep track of where they are in the document, and it makes the chronological nature of the process very overt. Writing the Draft also requires thought about the level of detail documented in a procedure.

The procedure should identify the required inputs, describe the goals make a delicious dinner and objectives everyone is satisfied , and include some specific requirements i.

Writing Instructions and Procedures

What level of oven operating work instructions should be included in the procedure? I would argue little to none.

What does a good instruction look like?

If you were to remove the original oven and replace it with one that was still complex to operate, but had completely different controls, etc.. Does having a different piece of equipment that performs the same function really change the process? Typically, no; the process is not different, and the goal of the procedure should be to document a process, not to explain how to operate a piece of equipment. That level of detail should typically be placed in a work instruction or a visual job aide.

It is a common error that procedure writers make; trying to incorporate intricate levels of detail about operating equipment, using computer applications, etc. While there might not be specific activities to discuss in terms of procedure drafting, I hope discussing these issues will help you when you have completed planning activities and you are now ready to sit down and draft the procedure. Your email address will not be published.

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Categories Write Better Procedures. Tags drafting procedure procedure drafting process process approach work instructions. Procedure Appearance Matters I noted earlier that procedure drafting is an activity in itself, not a group of activities like other writing stages. Consider the Level of Detail in Your Procedure Writing the Draft also requires thought about the level of detail documented in a procedure. More Articles from Bizmanualz Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.