The value of a procedure

I have worked most of my career in the highly regulated areas where procedures are part of every day.  We literally have a procedure for everything that we do.

I won’t suggest that you need to do the same in your business.  But a procedure does have value and it does have a place.

I knew this way back in the nineties, before I hit the world of regulations, as a ticket seller at the front entrance of the Perth Zoo.  When it was time for me to leave this job, I wrote procedures for important daily tasks that had to be undertaken in the office.  The reason for this was because there were new staff in the office regularly, and as a long term employee it had been part of my role to teach the new people.  To make it easier for the people remaining in the job, I wrote procedures so that they had something to refer to when someone with more knowledge wasn’t available.

Procedures are like a recipe.  A recipe allows you to share what you do or make in a manner that enables another person to replicate it.  How well they replicate it will be a combination of their skill level, the tools they have available and how well the procedure is written.

Procedures can come in many different styles.  In the world that I work in, they are very specific and controlled with a purpose, scope, responsibilities, definitions and instructions.  They are written by personnel who are experts in the task and in some processes, against validated methods.  This level of detail and control is not always needed outside of the world of regulations.

Your procedure might be a flowchart of steps so that any employee can see what needs to be done.  It might also be a photo or diagram with labelling so that personnel can instantly see what goes where.

A procedure has value where you need many people to perform the same task.  You will be wanting them all to follow the same steps so that you can be guaranteed of the end result.  A procedure brings you consistency.

A procedure has value where you have a high turn over of staff.  Without a procedure, how well the new staff learn and complete a task will be dependent on the knowledge and skill of the person teaching them.  If the person teaching is not entirely competent because they too are relatively new to the task, then steps will be lost with the employee that knew them.

A procedure has value where there are complicated tasks to complete.  Having procedures can provide more detailed instructions where each part of the process is broken down in detail to make it seem less complicated.

A procedure has value by providing efficiency.  Personnel can refer to a written procedure or diagram instead of finding someone to help or explain it to them.  It will stop the need for two people to be involved in a task that only requires one.

So where can you implement a procedure?  Do you have the skills to write an effective procedure?

Not everyone can see where a procedure will be of benefit.  But I can.

Not everyone has the skills to write an effective procedure.  But I do.

Could you use my help or guidance?  Reach out to me…

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Seona

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