Writing a procedures manual

Would you want to go through a complicated procedure just to get an extra pen or pad of paper? Procedures — and their close cousins, policies — can be a real pain in the proverbial.

Writing a procedures manual

Features How to Write a Policy Manual Sticking to a detailed plan goes a long way toward creating an effective agency guide to Standard Operating Procedures. If you are planning to develop or even update your agency's manual, the suggestions contained in this article should help you save time, produce a quality manual, and avoid some frustrations that can occur.

Create a Blueprint Developing a manual without a plan is like a homeowner building a house without a blueprint. Without any guidance, the homeowner keeps adding room after room without logic or flow until he or she runs out of money. The result is a house without rhyme, reason, or usefulness The point is that once a police department or a sheriff's office decides to develop a new or update its existing manual, a plan must be developed detailing how to undertake the effort.

A well thought out and documented plan will help guide the project and increase the likelihood of success. Your plan of action should include information on what is to be included in the manual, who will be involved in its creation, a process for creating the manual, a schedule, and, finally, the resources cash and in-kind that will be needed.

Borrow Ideas Reading other agencies' manuals is a good way to start developing your plan. These manuals can give you ideas on policies, writing style, format, and other elements of the process.

Perusing manuals from other agencies can also help you decide which policies and procedures should be included. If this is your agency's first manual, or if your department has not operated with a manual for a number of years, then you should consider creating a master list containing a reasonable number of policies and procedures.

Don't worry; additional policies can always be added at a later scheduled date. Your list should include only policies and procedures appropriate for your agency, given its size and scope of duties.

Far too many agencies try to create policies and procedures manuals that cover every possible situation that could ever arise. This is an impossible task.


If you try to accomplish it you'll never finish. Stick to a Schedule Next, establish a schedule listing key project deadlines. Some of the key deadlines should include: Use a schedule that is appropriate for your agency. By this I mean one you can actually follow without bringing operations to a halt.

Think about how many people can devote time to the task, and how much time they can spare each day.

writing a procedures manual

Don't expect to finish the manual in a month, especially if yours is a small department.finding funding sources, proposal writing to grant program management, this Grant Procedures Manual has been compiled. In the past, grant development has been decentralized across the college.

Save Time by Reusing Your Content

Select and download the pre-written Word documents, revise any content, or write your own. Then save for easy updating. Your customized policy and procedure manual is ready to publish for your organization.

writing a procedures manual

In order to avoid fines or worse, a Policy and Procedure Manual is a must. Writing a Procedure that the Reader Can Follow Contributed by Deane Gradous, Twin Cities consultant Definition: A written procedure is a step-by-step guide to direct the reader through a task.

Write the introductory materials for the training manual such as the title page, publisher and copyright page, things to note page, and table of contents.

Title page: State the title, sub-title if the manual has one, and author’s name. Procedures are written for various user-groups: frequent users, occasional users, or novices, in order for them to consistently realize the process that the procedure models.

Who are you writing the business procedures manual for? Before you plunge headlong into your business’s most complex processes, remember who you are writing the business procedures manual for – not for those like yourself who have intimate knowledge of the entire business, but for a third party.

How to Write a Standard Operating Procedure: 15 Steps