How Do I Do Methods And Procedures

The first thing that one needs is a standard way to do things. Once the best standard way to do something has been established, then we write down the step by step process whereby we perform that task.

All activities required to complete a task or define the content of a job need included in the procedures as written in the manual. The procedures for each job should also be listed together in the manual.

Methods are not normally described in a procedures manual. The methods are specified in the actual procedure. This is another reason why the procedures must be clearly stated.

We may find as we write down the procedure that there are decisions which are required that we had not previously considered. Each new dimension of the procedure needs to also be written down with a description of the decision criteria for making the required decision. At this point, the procedure must describe both paths which occur as a result of the decision process.

The choice must be a "yes" or "no" type decision or a series of decisions which are "yes" or "no" in format. The procedure must follow each decision to its conclusion.

Once the procedure is written, it must be again compared to actual practice to insure that it conforms to what is being done. As a part of this review, it is appropriate to ask: "Is there a better way?" "Is this the best way to do this task?.

When the procedure passes this test, it is ready to be adopted. The procedure should then be entered into a word processing format and copies printed for each person who would be using the procedure. Every separate procedure which requires more than 10 per cent of the work day should be included in the procedure manual.

Morgan F Bryan MBA, Northwestern University BA, University of Cincinnati