The Streamlined Business Blog

It’s a Piece of Cake to Get Your Ducks in a Row

An Argument for Jargon Free Polices and Procedures

Clarity is a mantra around here at COMPROSE, Inc. When it comes to SOPs the clearer you are in how you write, share and manage you information, the better the outcome. Sounds simple right? It is, but (there is always a but) simple doesn’t mean easy. It takes a bit of practice to write clearly.

A recent piece in Fast Company provides a humorous look at business speak, “Tumblr about Business Jargon Is a Window of Opportunity For Reimagining Linguistic Pain Points” (Pretty sure the title is meant to be ironic). Highlighting Gena Larson’s Blog “Use Sparingly” the article speaks to both the use of expressions and jargon. SOPs should be clear and easy to follow instructions. Choosing standard English (or French or Spanish) is a great way to ensure your information is accessible to your audience. This is especially true for organizations that may operate in more than one country or in environments where more than one language is spoken.

A few tips:

1. Call things what they are, use the simplest terms
2. Define industry specific and organizationally y specific terms in your SOPs
3. Use small, accessible words.
4. Get to the point.
5. Remember your end goal is to create polices and procedures people can pick up and follow
6. If you have to read a sentence more than once to understand it, its too complex. (Re- Read the title of the Fast Company Piece for an example of how NOT to write your SOPs)
7. Steer clear of expressions. “A piece of cake” for a Spanish speaker refers to a literal piece of cake. And while and English speaker would be “in the dark” and Spanish speaker would be “behind the tree. “ So sticking with standard language is a great way to avoid confusion.

Get more posts on writing tips for SOPs and policies and procedures here.


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