Useful tips for writing a procedure

We all saw lengthy, not easy to read or understand procedures of work.

Things can be performed differently, and it depends on us.

So before writing a procedure, it is best to dedicate some time to pre-planning the writing to attain the procedure's ultimate goal which is to be able to implement its content. This requires the procedure to be legible and comprehendible and present the information it contains clearly.

Make sure to adhere to the following principles:

  • The procedure must serve its purpose. You should therefore dedicate time to defining the goal clearly and refrain from overtly general descriptions.
  • The procedure should be written clearly for the user to understand and implement it.
  • The information in the procedure must be compatible with government rules and regulations. Make sure the content does not clash with the law.
  • The information must be written in a way that can only be interpreted as the writer intended.

How is it performed?

Here are a bunch of tips for optimal procedure writing, complete with examples of what to avoid:

Style and wording:

  • Generally, the writing should be clear and both comprehendible to the reader and professionally, precisely written.
  • All sentences must include clear subjects and objects- who is doing what, when and how.
  • Refrain from passive phrasing as much as possible.
  • Refrain from using acronyms, unless when used as conjunctions or as a convention.
  • A procedure is a document calling for action, and so most instructions are numbered. Numbering generates a hierarchical order and internal organization and allows simply directing to a specific instruction.
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation.
  • An underline is a textual convention for a hyperlink and should therefore not be used for emphasis. Use bold or color for these purposes, instead.
  • It is best to refrain entirely from using italics which render the resulting text illegible.

Terms and definitions

  • Make sure that the terms featured in the procedure are listed in the appropriate chapter and that terms not listed in that chapter do not appear.
  • Ensure that the terms are defined in wording appropriate for the procedure in a manner easily understood by users.
  • Refrain from a dictionary-like description and ensure the description provides the reader with added value.
  • When writing the terms' definitions, refrain from including operational instructions, which should appear within the procedure's text and not in its terms chapter.

Functionaries

  • Ensure uniformity of all functionaries listed in the procedure's position's definition.
  • Ensure all functionaries appear in the authority and responsibility chapters. Furthermore, make sure to maintain uniformity when describing functionaries' fields of responsibility throughout the procedure.
 
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