The Streamlined Business Blog

If Your Procedures Sound Like Shakespeare, You Might Want to Reconsider

If, your answer be “Yes” then goeth to step 17a, but if no
goeth to the next step wherefore you can prepare to move to step 17b.
If “maybe” then henceforth see HR Procedure 127.5 line 7 ….

While this might be slightly exaggerated, it is not all that far off from the kind of content I see on a regular basis: Documents that are hard to follow, hard to read, and pages and pages long. I am not sure if they are more frustrating to write or more frustrating to read, but I am sure that they are not setting you up for success.

The purpose of any type of procedures is to tell someone how to do something. A good procedure is clear, concise, and easy to follow. Not Shakespeare!  If your SOPs sound like Shakespeare wrote them, try again!

Here are some quick tips:

  1. Break complex tasks into small parts. It is easier to follow a short sequence then move to the next one than it is to follow a 95 step sequence that runs to 40 pages or more.
  2. Use small, accessible words. Save the fancy business vocabularies for another time.
  3. Get to the point. The goal is to set someone up to replicate the task successfully. Tell them what they need to know.
  4. Be specific. Share the details that make your content actionable.
  5. Test your procedures. Can someone follow them?

More posts on creating helpful procedures see SOP Writing Tips

Comments are closed.

Privacy Policy

COMPROSE is aware of the need to address Internet privacy issues and we believe you should be aware of how we intend to treat any information about you that we might receive on the Internet as a result of your visit to the Site.

Information About COMPROSE’s On-Line Visitors

You can visit COMPROSE on the Site without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself. Our web servers collect the domain names, not the e-mail addresses, of visitors.

In general, we gather information about users of the Site collectively in order to determine, for example, which areas users access more frequently and which materials users access the most.

This information helps us to determine what is most beneficial for our users, and how we can continually create a better overall experience for our users by improving the content of the Site.

There are times however, when we may need information from you, such as your name and address. Customarily, the personal information COMPROSE obtains is used only to respond to inquiries, to process orders, for product registration, or to allow the user to access specific account information.

We may also ask you to voluntarily provide us with information for market research such as, your interests, demographics, and experience with our products.

Cookies

There is a technology called “cookies” which is an element of data that a web site can send to your browser which may then be stored on your system.

Some Site pages use cookies so that we can better serve you when you return to our Site. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving the chance to decide whether to accept it.

Website Links

COMPROSE’s Site may contain links to other websites. While COMPROSE tries to link only to sites that share its high standards and respect for privacy, COMPROSE cannot take responsibility for the content or the privacy practices employed by other sites.

Data Security

All of the information you submit at our site is encrypted and stored safely in a database that is backed up nightly.

Changes

If at anytime COMPROSE changes its privacy commitment, COMPROSE will post those changes here so that you will know what information COMPROSE gathers and how COMPROSE might use that information.