Launching project to write/refresh policies & procedures.

Pragna Patel's Profile

We are in the process of launching a project to write/refresh policies and procedures.  Being new to this process I am looking for tips and guidance on rules, dos and donts for such a project with user-friendly terms and without confusing the user community.  Any thoughts on how to make this efficient for business and not be an onerous task will be appreciated also.

Thanks

Answers

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There is a great corporate handbook here: http://www.proformative.com/og/resource/general-content/company-handbook. There are also a number of other handy docs in the Resource library. There are a ton of policies contributed by Lawroom in the Resource area which are well researched and current. If you need more, please name specifics in this thread and the community can chime in.

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Thank you John.
Specifically curious about policies related to Operations, Sales & Marketing, Product Management. There are tons of examples for Accounting, HR, Legal, etc but if someone can help for the specific areas, it would be helpful. I will look into the Resource library also. Thank you

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For added clarity, what kind of operations and what aspects of sales, mktg and operations are you looking for procedures for? Is it expense management, sales deal closing, bookings procedures, etc.? What, specifically, are you looking for, in what industry, what processes, etc.?

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I would encourage you to visit the following two websites that offer very inexpensive policies & procedures templates that can be easily "cut & pasted" to create a customized manual for your company: www.bizmanualz.com and www.copedia.biz. Starting with one of these as your foundation, you can then spend your value added time on documenting the most critical/unique policies/procedures, e.g., revenue recognition, trade secrets on pricing/markups, etc.

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There is great book on building procedures for a company across all functions - e.g. purchasing, manufacturing, sales etc. "Improving Performance - How to manage the white space on the organization chart" by Rummler & Brache.

Keep in mind that the 22-25 procedures that comprise the whole possible set of operations procedures should be customized to reflect your own company's policies. Having too many procedures risks losing the users, and complicates training.

I had written the ops manual with policies and procedures for a publicly traded, engineering company some time ago and and found that the true battle was in trying to keep it simple, using visual aids like flowcharts and and problem-solving time-outs. Did a fair amount of benchmarking as well.

Hope this helps.

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Did this 15 years ago for a Fortune 100 company. Off the shelf material was a starting point, but it was never accepted "as is".

We ended up creating a simple format with key and consistent headers, written in "non-accounting speak" with lots of white space and short paragraphs. Not all our team was native English speakers.It also helped other employees use and understand the book.

We would write a section, then issue it for comment ~60 days - then finalize. It took two years - it is still in use today as we made it easy to update.

We did two books, one on Financial and the second was Corporate. Had a lot of fun arguing where the Travel Policy should fall, and Revenue was in both - but had a somewhat different angle. There was a Tax and Financial compliance section in the Finance book.

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I have done policy manuals for several companies.

One thing to keep in mind is making it easy to keep updated. I did one manual using a three ring binder with each policy having its own section. Within each policy, there were subsections for the individal procedures, control points, flowchart, and related links to other policies. Keeping each of these on seperate pages made it easy to update one area as needed. It is important to review all policies on a regular basis (usually annually) and update as necessary.

Starting with a template or pre-written policies is good. However, as has been noted above, you will be customizing to fit your company. I encourage you to include as much detail as needed to make the policy and proceedures clear, so a new employee can use them successfully.

I also encourage you to include a list of control points. This shows what internal controls are incorporated into the procedures. This is more important then ever in our new SOX world.

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Thank you all for your thoughts and input. I have seen bizmanuals and copedia wanted my cell phone so did not pursue but will try them again. I will review all your comments and come back if I have any questions. As Mike says, it is LONG TERM project, just feels so onerous!!

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I must have related the phone number thing with this website. Must have been something else. Jerry, sorry about that.

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Pragna, Copedia is a one man operation owned by Scott so do not get spooked about being barraged by telemarketers. He operates out of Vail and can be reached at 976-306-7696 or helpdeskatcopedia [dot] com.

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