I am pleased to announce the official, final outline of Beyond the Writing of Operating Procedures. Well, it may not be fully cast in stone. Maybe I’ll consider changes. Heck, maybe I’ll throw the outline out and start over. But as I described in my last post, the “procedure life cycle” is a reflection of the process life cycle. The process life cycle includes those times when changes to the procedure are pondered or necessary, but also those times when the procedure is integral to performing or improving the process.
The outline of Beyond is reflected in the illustration of the life cycle in my last post. Here is the same illustration, augmented to show the sections of the book as they fit into the life cycle model. So, if you want to absorb the outline visually, click here (just note the section numbers are different):
If you want to read the outline, here it is with a brief synopsis of the section focus:
Section 1: Procedure Life Cycle. This section describes in detail the life cycle of the procedure in terms of the process it describes, using the illustration above as the model. This section sets up the discussions in each section that follows.
Section 2: Procedure Approval. This section focuses on the requirements for approval, determining functions responsible for procedure, and a discussion of what procedure approval represents to the organization and the procedure’s performers.
Section 3: Procedure Implemented. This section focuses on the manner in which the approved procedure is distributed and made available to procedure performers. Issues such as paper vs. electronic distribution methods will be discussed.
Section 4: Procedures and Training. This section focuses on the use of the procedure to perform training (some of which I covered in Writing Operating Procedures). The section will discuss a procedure-focused training sequence as well as the development of procedure-focused training measurement tools.
Section 5: Putting the Procedure on Display. This section focuses on visual and other tools to put procedure information within reach of process performers without having to constantly reference the procedure. It will describe signs, diagrams and even work instructions as supplements to the operating procedure.
Section 6: Managing the Task. This section discusses the influence of the operating procedures in on-going department performance. This section leads into the discussions that follow in sections 6-8.
Section 7: Managing Incidents. This section focuses on the information gathering phase of an incident or process investigation, and how the procedure is integral to the investigation. The section focuses on comparing what happened (incident) with what should have happened (procedure) during an investigation, as well as the importance of identifying what may change in the process (and ultimately, the procedure).
Section 8: Improving the Task. This section discusses the use of the procedure when evaluating a task with the intention of making it better (less waste, safer, more efficient, etc.). The use of the procedure in a formal continuous improvement team or individual process investigation will be studied.
Section 9: Procedures and Capital Projects. This section discusses the impact of projects (capital or otherwise) on the department’s task structure (which includes its training program and procedure needs).
Section 10: Periodic Procedure Review. This section discusses the review of operating procedures that may occur independent of all situations covered in sections 4-9. This section describes methods to review procedures that work within an organization’s Quality Review cycle and ensure that Quality Review actions are carried out as they relate to procedures.
Section 11: Revising Procedures. This section discusses how to revise an operating procedure. The discussions include the drivers of revisions, types of revisions, how to mark revisions to benefit the procedure’s performers, how to implement the revision and how to ensure necessary follow-up occurs.
Section 12: Retiring Procedures. This section discusses circumstances under which procedures may be removed from circulation, how to document procedure retirement while ensuring information that is still relevant is not discarded.
As I noted, this outline (actually list of sections) is fluid at present, so I will welcome all suggestions, especially those from would-be reviewers who could tip me off on what they believe should be covered before I submit a review copy that ignores the topic.