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Should I Buy Boilerplate Policy and Procedure Manuals?

Should I Buy Boilerplate Policy and Procedure Manuals?

Are you considering buying boilerplate policy and procedure manuals? The answer depends on your situation and business needs. There are tons of corporate policy and procedure examples on the web as well as many companies that sell pre-written company procedure manuals. However, most are Employee Manuals, not Operations Manuals, and there is a difference.

Consult our related post for more details:  How are Employee Manuals and Operations Manuals Different?

Most pre-written content is focused on policy, not procedure. So if you’re looking for a basic Employee Manual focused on HR issues, or you need help identifying the kind of topics you should address as you develop your own policies, these products may be helpful. Most are very affordable. Boilerplate manuals and standards guides often contain useful subject matter information but can rarely be used “as is” for running an operation — especially at the tactical level.

At Comprose, we focus on Operations Manuals (Standard Operating Procedures) that provide step-by-step details on how to complete work. For example, when A happens, do B, when C happens, do D, and so on. Think about your own organization. How many processes and tasks are unique to your company? Probably most of them — that’s what makes you better than your competitors!

Bank Operations is a good example. All Banks have certain basic processes, such as commercial lending, new accounts, or wealth management. At a high level, there are process commonalities across organizations. But once you get past the big picture, there’s quite a bit of variation from bank to bank.

Boilerplate policy and procedure manuals cannot capture your unique operational flow or how your organization actually works. Boilerplate manuals don’t contain all the tips, tricks, and best practices of your star performers. So, if you’re looking for a magic bullet that you can just buy off-the-shelf to run your operation and keep your employees trained on "how to" tasks, you’ll be disappointed. That just doesn’t exist.

Pre-written boilerplate material may give you topic ideas or industry-specific policy information. But, for real operations results, we recommend following a systematic approach to identify your processes and begin breaking them down into manageable chunks (procedures and tasks). Our Operations Mapping is a proven, systematic technique. Our Zavanta software is a specialized tool for writing policies and procedures fast and effectively, transferring know-how out of your experts’ heads.

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