By Alyssa Gregory 7 Tips for Writing an Effective Instruction Manual In your day-to-day work, you might find that there are times when you need to provide a client with documentation that walks them through a process or teaches them how to do something they may be unfamiliar with.
What would happen if that employee quit without providing notice? Key individuals can be found in any company, but it is vital that you not become dependent on a particular person to operate your business. Not only does an operations manual save you from relying too much on individual employees, it also serves to guide and reinforce the training of new employees and allows for the self-taught, cross training of existing employees.
In this Quick-Read you will find: Tips on a functional layout for your operations manual. What elements to include. If written correctly, it should guide someone unfamiliar with your company through the day-to-day procedures for operating your business. This should not be confused with an employee handbook, a much smaller document addressing conditions of employment, corporate culture and acceptable behavior policies.
Divide your manual into sections that coincide with the departmental organization of your company.
This will facilitate employee contributions during the writing process and allow easy access to information once the manual is in circulation. Include a table of contents that lists subsections.
Have authors create the document using the same word-processing software. Common software will not only make it easier to construct the manual now but it should also ensure the document can be easily modified in the future. Always have a hard copy of all the versions at a safe location.
Number the sections and then the pages within sections. For example, page 4 of section 10 would be numbered " The popular word-processing programs provide this page numbering option.
On each page, add a footer indicating when the page was last modified. Photocopied pages frequently lie around, and an outdated one could do much damage. You can also include an appendix for interim additions or changes, so that you will not have to edit and reprint the manual to include periodic alterations.
Content Operations manuals typically include four types of information: Locations of items, e. In most cases, you can obtain detailed emergency procedures from your landlord or from community groups.Tips for writing user manuals.
We have arranged the tips into the following sections: General guidelines; Write the user manual in synch with the product's development timeline — not under pressure of shipping deadlines. Make sure the writers have the product, understand the product, and actually use the product as they write.
General guidelines for user manuals. Provide a real (physical) user manual with the product: don't make people read a pdf.
How to Write a Procedure Manual by Karen Ellen - Updated September 26, A procedure is like a recipe—a set of instructions that clearly states who does something, when it should be done, how it's done and what the result should be. Tips on How to Write a Policy and Procedure Manual. For those who want to learn how to write a procedure manual, here are a few tips you should consider. The design of the procedure manual will depend largely on the type of procedure that is being outlined, but some design recommendations apply for all procedure manuals.
Make sure the instructions actually map on to the product in all respects. Include a one-page quick start guide.
Present instructions as step-by-step procedures. The writing style for a procedure manual should rely on clear and concise language. All procedural information should be accurate, and any acronyms should be clarified with an explanation in.
Tips on How to Write a Policy and Procedure Manual. For those who want to learn how to write a procedure manual, here are a few tips you should consider. Policy and Procedures Writing Guide Drafting a Policy – Policy Format all policies must follow a standard format (see Policy Template) to ensure consistency between policies.
Tips on Preparing a Procedure Manual A well-prepared procedure manual provides a foundation for the lab’s quality assurance program.
Its purpose is to ensure consistency while striving for quality.