The Operating Procedure is Complete–Now What?

I am very pleased with the response to the STC review of Writing Operating Procedures. As I noted in my last post, my next task is to complete the follow-up book that describes how procedures are handled, controlled and updated once they are completed. My thoughts and ideas will be captured in Beyond the Writing of Operating Procedures. For now, I anticipate the book will contain the following elements (not necessarily in this order):

1. Gaining Procedure Approval: this will not just be about getting someone to sign off on the procedure, but how to identify those with fundamental responsibility for the procedure’s execution (i.e., correct task performance).

2. Distributing the Procedure: this section will discuss how procedures will be introduced into the organization, not only where and how they will be stored, but how workers will be brought into alignment with the procedure.

3. Controlling Procedures: this will focus on the requirements for Document Control and how organizations will ensure that the latest (presumably most correct) information will always be the information in front of their workers.

4. Revising Procedures: this section will focus on the why’s of revision, the different types of revisions that may occur, and how to format the revised document so that the changes and nature of the changes are highlighted.

5. Delivering Information to the Worker: this section will focus on the many ways procedure information can be supplied to workers, besides paper, binders, etc. This will likely include discussions of (but not advertisements for) software programs used to aid in the flow of information. (I would gladly consider any types of programs for inclusion in this discussion.)

6. Procedures and Their Use in Investigations: this section will discuss the centrality of Operating Procedures in incident and process investigations.

7. Procedure Changes and Performance Management Impact: here I will discuss how procedure changes must be integrated into an organization’s/department’s whole performance management process, based on my five-dimension performance mangement model.

8. Impact of Projects on the Procedure Process: capital and other projects aimed at improving department or organizational function can have a major impact on the operating procedures. Here we will discuss how to identify what will change and how to address the changes during project development rather than scrambling afterward.

9. Maintaining a Procedure Review Process: in this section I will discuss having a procedure evaluation process as an element of an organization’s Quality Planning cycle.

10. Maintaining Focus on Why the Procedures Were Born in the First Place! This section will be a reminder of why the procedures came to be (and it was not to placate auditors), and how to not lose sight of that purpose as your procedure process grows and expands.

That is an introductory stab at the topics I will cover in my Beyond book. I am most eager to hear from people with ideas on what else I should cover in the book, any products you wish to point out to me, as well as any ideas. In the coming weeks, I will post on different elements of this outline. I hope to have the completed companion to Writing Operating Procedures finished by June 30.

Thanks as always for your support, Mr. Procedure.




About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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