7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures Paperback – Jun 1999
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From the Publisher
We are proud of this author. This new book, 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures, is his third book with us since 1998. This book complements his other two books and is a must addition to anyones business reference library. Stephen is a business professional we see this in everything he does and in his interface with us. Stephen is a dedicated author and strongly believes in writing material that people can really use. This new book about writing policies and procedures is a good example of his discipline. He believes that writing quality policies and procedures is paramount so that the intended audiences can easily understand and apply the information and principles presented. This workbook contains exercises, suggested answers (both good and bad), and an extensive discussion of the dos and donts for writing well structured, logical, and coherent policies and procedures. We look forward to future books by this author.
About the Author
He has been employed by various multinational companies including Atos Origin, Compuware, Litton Industries, Eastman Kodak, and Boeing Aircraft. He has more than 30 years experience with writing and reviewing processes, policies, procedures, and standards. He has held such positions as Policy Development Manager, Policies and Procedures Manager, Sr. Procedures Analyst, Sr. Business Process Specialist, and Assistant Deputy for ISO 9000 Quality Standards. Steve recently received a personal version of the "Malcolm Baldrige Award" for his high productivity, high quality, and work ethics.
Steve has produced more than 150 manuals and more than 5000 policies and procedures. He has won two national forms contents and has designed more than 6000 forms. He has served on many committees including total quality management, benchmarking, ISO 9000, Baldrige Award, six sigma, teamwork, empowerment, training, communications, and hundreds of business process teams. He has been conducting training classes in the area of policies and procedures for the past 25 years. He regularly speaks at seminars about business processes, policies, procedures, and standards.
He has an MBA from UCLA and is certified in the following areas: Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE), Certified Quality Analyst (CQA), Certified Records Manager (CRM), and Certified Forms Consultant (CFC). He is the member of four associations.
Steve's current books include:
1. Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures 2. Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies and Procedures 3. 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures
Each of these books complement one another. The first book introduces the reader to writing policies and procedures. The second book builds on the first by presenting comprehensive plans and tools for communicating, training, measuring, and improving policies and procedures. The third book builds on the first two books. It teaches the reader how to "actually" write the policy and procedure document. It contains entire chapters on each of the 7 steps of writing policies and procedures that Steve advocates in his first two books.
Steve says, "Each book needs to be read to gain a complete understanding of writing and developing the ultimate system of policies and procedures. Read the BLUE book first, then the RED book, and then the YELLOW book. This will make the most sense."
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Top Customer Reviews
Steve also explains how to format a procedure for ease of use.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1. While there are dozens of books on policies and procedures, this book is clearly the best choice for policy and procedure authors.
2. It's new, state-of-the-art, brief, to-the-point, and has everything authors need to know for formatting policies and procedures.
3. While his writing style is dynamic enough to enable cover-to-cover reading, it's modular enough to serve as a desktop reference that facilitates starting at any point within the textbook.
4. More importantly, however, are the technical strong points, which include concise formatting, style, content, presentation, appearance, prose, structure, and completeness (not to mention several comprehensive examples).
5. The author's book authoritatively defines the 7 important elements of all policies and procedures: purpose, revision history, persons affected, policy, definitions, responsibilities, and procedures (with a complete chapter dedicated to each of the 7 areas)
6. Each chapter has a highly structured approach which includes sample templates, purpose, format, common mistakes, scenarios, what to look for, exercises, answers, and pit falls to avoid.
This book is bound to re-energize, re-invigorate, and provide desperately-needed guidance to an otherwise chaotic field of policy and procedure-writing amateurs and novices.
Many kudos to this author, thanks, and I am hoping he continues his legacy to revolutionize the field of policy and procedure writing ...
-David F. Rico-
As a technical writer, I had mixed feelings about these books.
On the one hand, I thought they did an excellent job of presenting a simple, structured approach for developing and maintaining policies and their associated procedures in a systematic and consistent way. I think people who are new or relatively new to the work of developing such documentation should find these books to be valuable aids.
On the other hand, as someone who has been developing administrative and technical documentation for a number of years, I didn't find much here that was new to me. In many ways, I felt these books were an excellent presentation of "what I already know".
I felt the strongest points of the books were:
1) "The Writing Format" - The author makes it clear that the structure he uses for developing documents (which he calls "The Writing Format") is the core of his entire approach to developing policies and procedures. This simple, effective structure will be VERY helpful to those who've never had to develop standardized documentation before or for those who have yet to find a systematic approach for developing consistent documents.
2) Policies and Procedures in Support of Business Goals - All too often, policies and procedures are developed without the required connection to the ideas and realities that define the businesses for which they are being developed. Mr. Page does an excellent job of making it clear what a big mistake this is and suggests some ways to avoid this pit fall.
3) The Development Process - Many managers I've worked with over the years seem to think that good policies and procedures are something anyone can sit down and write in a few minutes. NOT true. Mr. Page does an excellent job of outlining the overall TEAM process by which good policies and procedures must be conceived, researched, drafted, reviewed, approved, published and continually revised and updated.
All in all, I think Mr. Page's books make excellent documentation development reference guides. But, as someone who has been developing administrative and technical documentation for several years, there were a few things I found disappointing:
1) Formatting - The visual formatting of Mr. Page's documents is VERY simple and, in my opinion, does not take very full advantage of the enhanced visual tools available in today's word processing programs. Designing documents that are visually simple to follow and help the user immediately recognize the logic of the document they are using is much easier with some of today's enhanced word processing capabilities. I would have enjoyed seeing examples of more sophisticated yet still straight foreward approaches to presenting information.
2) Editing - Especially in "Establishing A System of Policies and Procedures", I was surprised by the number of editing errors I found. They were not the sort of errors that make the book ineffective, but they detracted from the professionalism of the presentation.
I think for MOST people tasked with developing policies and procedures for a corporate or professional environment, these two books will be very good reference guides. But, if you've been developing successful documentation for a number of years and doing so with considerable skill and creativity, there may not be much new for you here.
You can't go wrong if you use this book as a guide for policy and procedure writing. It's like a cookbook in many ways, with a clearly laid out recipe for success and a list of ingredients that will be required in the form of steps and item blocks for your documents.
I was so impressed with this book that I immediately ordered a copy for myself (so I could return the borrowed copy), as well as copies of Mr. Page's other books. If you write policies and procedures for a living, or are required to produce them for your department you should get this book ASAP. It will simplify the task and enable you to produce professional results regardless of your level of experience.
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