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The Streamlined Business Blog

Standardizing operations, compliance, and training.

The Streamlined Business Blog

Standardizing operations, compliance, and training.

 

Category:

Policy & Procedure Best Practices


How to Modernize Your Policy and Procedure Communication

Is your organization wasting time and money developing policies and procedures that no one uses? Organizations that integrate clear policy and procedure communication into everyday life realize improved quality, reduced training / turnover costs, and a more empowered workforce. ( Results l read more... about How to Modernize Your Policy and Procedure Communication

Friday, March 12, 2021

Policy Procedures – 7 Signs You Have Outgrown MS Word

If your method for developing SOPs and policies is MS Word® or MS Excel® you may be unaware that there is a better way! Don’t get us wrong, MS Word is a fantastic tool for general purposes—just not for SOPs. If you only have a handful of procedures that rarely change, then the “do-it-yourself” in MS Word approach may be OK. read more... about Policy Procedures – 7 Signs You Have Outgrown MS Word

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Zavanta Software Principles Highlighted in New Book "Secrets of Success with Procedures"

In his new book Secrets of Success With Procedures , Jack Nicholas, Jr., BS, MBA, P.E., CMRP, CRL, internationally recognized expert in business operations and maintenance reliability and a decorated US Navy veteran and naval engineer, shares his experiences on the importance of written procedures to operations success. read more... about Zavanta Software Principles Highlighted in New Book "Secrets of Success with Procedures"

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What Hurts? Addressing Points of Pain with Policies and Procedures

Admittedly, Hemingway probably had something more poetic in mind than SOPs, but the advice still holds. Clients implement Zavanta software for a variety of reasons, chief among them are growing pains. Whether it is the confusion that seems to strike at around 50 employees, fast growth, or operations that are so borderline non-operational-it hurts. read more... about What Hurts? Addressing Points of Pain with Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Writing - the Foundation of Good Policies and Procedures

I spent a lot of time thinking about writing. I spend a lot of time reading about writing. And yes, I also write about writing. It is a baseline for most of my client conversations, because without writing you can’t get to the sharing and managing part of SOPs. You need content to share and manage, so you have to write. read more... about Writing - the Foundation of Good Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

4 Essential Tips for Ensuring Policy and Procedure Compliance

4 Essential Tips for Ensuring Policy and Procedure Compliance For over 30 years COMPROSE has worked with organizations across all industries — commercial banks, credit unions, hospitals, labs, government agencies, non-profits – just to name a few. Although specific regulatory and certification requirements may differ, all industries share the pain of creating and managing policies and procedures required for regulatory compliance. read more... about 4 Essential Tips for Ensuring Policy and Procedure Compliance

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

7 Proven Tips For Bringing Your Policy and Procedure Communication Into The 21st Century

Organizations that integrate clear P&Ps into everyday life realize improved quality, reduced training / turnover costs, and a more empowered workforce. (Results like: 75% error reduction, 50% reduction in employee onboarding time are NOT uncommon) So, the potential value is there, but there’s strong evidence that most organizations never achieve it, especially when many employees readily admit that they don’t trust or read “the official P&P manual”. read more... about 7 Proven Tips For Bringing Your Policy and Procedure Communication Into The 21st Century

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Create user-friendly Policies & Procedures that work with Microsoft SharePoint ®

Now it’s even easier to integrate Zavanta® Policy and Procedure software with MS SharePoint® Watch Video Click here to access SlideShare presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/comprose/creating-policies-and-procedures-for-use-with-ms-share-point-44527853 There are hundreds of products on the market for “managing” content. read more... about Create user-friendly Policies & Procedures that work with Microsoft SharePoint ®

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Policies and Procedures in the News -- CDC -- Ebola -- Anthrax

Policies and Standard Operating Procedures show up in the headlines from time to time, and rarely in celebration of polices and procedures well implemented. But recent headlines regarding the break down of communicating safety protocols at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been persistent–and more than a little alarming. read more... about Policies and Procedures in the News -- CDC -- Ebola -- Anthrax

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

SOPs -- Why Not Just the Steps?

This question comes up a lot in Zavanta Coaching sessions. To save time and get to the point, why not just list the steps for how to do a task? Clearly, the action steps are one of the biggest parts of SOPs. But, step by steps are not the only information that makes for good SOPs. If you adopt a “just the steps” approach you will be missing a lot of important information. read more... about SOPs -- Why Not Just the Steps?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip: In Steps Use Powerful Verbs that Show Action

Nothing happens on a Hollywood movie set until the Director hollers Action! The same is true when it comes to procedures. Have you ever tried to follow a written procedure and work instruction and not been able to figure out what you are supposed to DO? It’s the actions that you want people to perform that make everything happen. read more... about Tip: In Steps Use Powerful Verbs that Show Action

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Use S-V-O Pattern for Reader-friendly Procedures

If your goal is writing reader-friendly procedures and policies that get read and used consider how you write your sentences. In addition to using simple, direct terms avoid unnecessarily complex syntax. Subject verb object is the easiest sentence pattern in English to read and understand. It follows the pattern: who is kicking whom. read more... about Tip -- Use S-V-O Pattern for Reader-friendly Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Are Your P&Ps GOOD or Bad? Here’s the Definitive Test

Many companies have heated internal debates on this question: “Are our written policies and procedures (P&Ps) good or bad? “ How do you know? Some people measure quality based on whether P&Ps exist and are physically accessible to staff, whether they are grammatically correct, or how they look. read more... about Are Your P&Ps GOOD or Bad? Here’s the Definitive Test

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Don’t mix up Policies and Procedures (How tos)

We frequently see the same common errors companies make when writing policies and procedures. Mixing up policies and procedures information all in the same document is one of the biggest mistakes that can really keep your policies and procedures from getting read and used. TIP: For best results, keep policy information separate from the how tos so you focus on the specific information employees are looking for. read more... about Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Don’t mix up Policies and Procedures (How tos)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Cut to the Chase! Avoid Pompous Words in Procedures

When writing policies and procedures for your organization keep this mantra in mind: Time is money and people are busy! Cut to the chase! When they read your organization’s policies and procedures, your colleagues and employees don’t want to be impressed with unnecessary big words and an inflated vocabulary. read more... about Cut to the Chase! Avoid Pompous Words in Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

For Better Procedures Choose the Right Words

As we mentioned in an earlier post 4 Key Elements To Good Procedures , the audience is first element you should keep in mind for writing policies and procedures that your colleagues and employees WANT to read. As you draft the text, continually ask what your employee readers need to know and how they want to see information presented. read more... about For Better Procedures Choose the Right Words

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Key Elements To Good Procedures -- Understand Your Audience

Procedures exist to be read and used. The first step in writing a good procedure is to know whom it is you are writing for. As we mentioned in an earlier post 4 Key Elements To Good Procedures , the first element you should keep in mind for writing policies and procedures that your colleagues and employees WANT to read and is the audience. read more... about Key Elements To Good Procedures -- Understand Your Audience

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

One Big Reason Your Procedures Don’t Get Used -- Forgetting Usability Testing

One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing policies and procedures, really doesn’t involve writing at all. The mistake is failing to test. If you want a recipe for policies and procedures that no one will use, just do what far too many organizations do: assign someone who is familiar with the task but doesn’t actually DO the task (tech writer / programmer / engineer / manager), and have them sit at their desk and write an “official” procedure. read more... about One Big Reason Your Procedures Don’t Get Used -- Forgetting Usability Testing

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Organize Procedures Around the Reader's Needs

As we mentioned in an earlier post 4 Key Elements To Good Procedures , the second key element you should keep in mind for writing good procedures is pay attention to the order you present information in your document. If you understand the typical way readers interact with procedure documents you can arrange information more effectively and write a better procedure. read more... about Organize Procedures Around the Reader's Needs

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Should I Buy Boilerplate Policy and Procedure Manuals?

The answer depends on your situation and business need. There are tons of corporate policy and procedure examples on the web as well as many companies that sell pre-written company procedure manuals. However, most are Employee Manuals, not Operations Manuals and there is a difference. (See Previous Post: How are Employee Manuals and Operations Manuals Different ) Most pre-written content is focused on policy, not procedure. read more... about Should I Buy Boilerplate Policy and Procedure Manuals?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Banish Worn Out Cliches from Your Manuals

Clichés are those tired overused phrases you hear a lot but don’t communicate much anymore. Cliches are often just verbal clutter and can make your writing boring or annoying which won’t help the readability or credibility of your company procedures manuals and training guides. It’s good advice any time, but especially when writing policies and procedures, try to prune out the time-worn phrases and confusing jargon that creeps into everyday speech in business. read more... about Tip -- Banish Worn Out Cliches from Your Manuals

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Be SPECIFIC when Writing Step by Step Instructions

If your goal is writing policies and procedures that get read and used, pay special attention when writing step by step instructions. Tell the reader exactly what to do when you give instructions. Do not assume that your readers will know what you mean. Chances are they won’t. Vague instructions only confuse and frustrate people. read more... about Tip -- Be SPECIFIC when Writing Step by Step Instructions

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Beware Acronym Overload

Acronyms are short hand abbreviations for longer terms and phrases. e.g. IRS is the acronym for the Internal Revenue Service. Although there’s nothing wrong with using acronyms—they can save time and ink—beware acronym overload and use acronyms with caution. Too many acronyms can become confusing alphabet soup. read more... about Tip -- Beware Acronym Overload

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Provide both the ACTION and the RESULT of Steps

Here’s another tip for writing policies and procedures and employee manuals that get good results. Provide the RESULT as well as the Action in your steps. This is an simple but powerful way to keep people from taking a wrong turn and getting confused, or worse still making a costly error! Unless you tell your readers what to look for, they will not know if the result they get is correct or not. read more... about Tip -- Provide both the ACTION and the RESULT of Steps

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tip -- Use Specific Rather Than Abstract Words

If your goal is to have your organization’s employee manuals and training guides read and used, keep this tip in mind when writing policies and procedures. Don’t be vague! Abstract terms are harder to understand and frequently boring and lifeless. When you use vague generalized words, you’ll either bore or frustrate your reader. read more... about Tip -- Use Specific Rather Than Abstract Words

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Web-Enabled Policies and Procedures Employees Want to Use -- Video

If you still think of policies and procedures as boring “static company procedures manuals” that no one uses or wants to use, then it’s time to move into the 21st century! Today, even small businesses are ditching their “old-fashioned manuals” for a more user-friendly, electronic browser approach. read more... about Web-Enabled Policies and Procedures Employees Want to Use -- Video

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Answers: Is it a Policy, Process, Procedure, or Work Instruction?

In a previous post, "Do you know the difference between policies and procedures...? " we gave the following list of topics. What is each one? Policy , Process , Procedure , or Work Instruction ? Answers are below. Acceptable Internet Usage – Policy Buil read more... about Answers: Is it a Policy, Process, Procedure, or Work Instruction?

Friday, July 2, 2021