Building a Procedure or Work Instruction
Organizing Procedural Data
Once a draft Process Organizer has been agreed on, the next step in development of the manual is collection of procedural data. Procedural data, i.e., how the process is performed, needs to be collected for each of the 3-digit sub-processes on the Process Organizer.
Depending on the process and its complexity or level of variation, several closely related procedures may need to be collected. As an example, "3.1.1 Set Up New Vendor" may involve separate procedures for setting up a local or domestic vendor versus a vendor domiciled in a foreign country. If the two procedures are substantially different, it may make sense to document the procedures separately as follows:
- 3.1.1 Set Up New Vendor
- 188.8.131.52 Set Up New Vendor – Domestic Vendors
- 184.108.40.206 Set Up New Vendor – Foreign Vendors
This structure maintains the process-based organization, and also makes it easier for staff to find the relevant set-up information. Additionally, if, at some point in the future, the two procedures change and become more similar due to a systems change or change in requirements, this structure simplifies integrating the two procedures.
A procedure describes how a process is performed or how an outcome is achieved. If the outcome is that a new vendor has been set up in Accounts Payables' records and/or system, the procedure will detail the steps in setting up the vendor on the system.
All procedures should have the following components:
- Input(s) – for "Set Up New Vendor" this would be an instruction from Corporate Sourcing or a similar department to set up a new vendor with any required information and documentation.
- Process – the process transforms the inputs into an output.
- Output(s) – in this case, a vendor has been set up on the system, and required documentation (e.g., a W-9 Form) is on file.
- Control(s) – for quality assurance purposes, to comply with organizational policy requirements.
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