Procedure Writer Course

Absolute Consulting is offering STC Policies & Procedures SIG members a $100 rebate on their next PPA Procedure Writer Certification course, November 30 - December 2, 2015 in Nashville, TN. Developed and managed by the Procedure Professionals Association (PPA) using input from an array of industry experts, the PPA Procedure Writer Certification is recognized as a value added approach to aligning procedure writers with best practices. For more information on this course, visit the PPA Website (ppaweb.org) or the Absolute Consulting Website (absoluteconsulting.com). To take advantage of this offer, see Nathan Rightmer's Nov 10th post to the P&P Discussion List.

Discussion Threads

This is a list of topics on the P&P SIG Discussion List. You can read the full thread in the discussion list archives. See the Mail Lists page for instructions.

  • "A P&P inquiry for the SIG" on Standard Operating Procedures (August 2014)
  • "Use of the second person - you and your" (August 2014)
  • "Policy" - Alternative terms (Oct 2014)
  • "Policy and Procedures Library Name" (Oct 2014)
  • "SOPs vs. other Procedures" (Dec 2014)
  • "Q&A on Tech Com for Aerospace" (Dec 2014)
  • "Cross Post from STC Lone Writer SIG" on why people do or don't remain STC members (Jan 2015)
  • "Use of video in technical documentation" (Feb 2015)
  • "Authorization of policies" (Feb 2015)
  • "Good source for defining different levels of P&P?" (Feb 2015)
  • "Document Type Definitions?" (April 2015)
  • "What volume of information/change can someone absorb in a day?" (April 2015)
  • "Use of the second person - you and your" (April 2015)
  • "Tools for Policies & Procedures" (May 2015)
  • "Taxonomy of documents" (May 2015)
  • "Student Requesting Examples of Process Documentation" (June 2015)
  • "Policies or related materials on transgender topics" (Junly 2015)
  • "Reference Style in Policies?" (Aug 2015)
  • "Policy and Procedure Repositories" (Sept 2015)

Quarterly Update – Spring 2015

New Members & Mail Lists

Welcome to all our new P&P SIG members. Unless you opt out of receiving SIG email, we subscribe you to our Announcement and Discussion Lists. The Announcement List is used for official SIG announcements. Participating in the Discussion List is a major benefit of membership in the P&P SIG. You can will hear from other members periodically and be able to exchange ideas and information with them. To ensure that you receive our email, please add these addresses to your email contacts or white list.
  • pp-discuss at mailer.stc.org
  • pp-announce at mailer.stc.org
STC sends subscribers a monthly reminder with your mail list passwords and instructions.

Summit 2015

Let us know if you plan to attend the 2015 STC Summit. We’ll look for you at our table at the Communities Reception, our SIG Luncheon/Business Meeting and our SIG Progession -- Policy and Procedure Topics:
  • Best Practices in Policies and Procedures (Audrey Bezner)
  • Links, References and Resources for Policy and Procedures Analysts (Dawnell Claessen)
  • Career Development in Policies and Procedures (Emily Kowal)
  • What I know Versus Reality (Cindy Pao)
  • Getting Started in Policy and Procedure (Jamye Sagan)
  • Technology and Tools in Policies and Procedures (Louise Tincher)
Tuesday 23rd June, 2015, 9:45am to 10:30am.** Dates and times of Summit sessions are subject to change. Check Lanyard for current information (http://lanyrd.com/2015/stc15/sdkpqy/).

Resources

lman.stc.org/pipermail/stc_ppsig/

SIG Status

Our current numbers (as of 05/03/15) are:
  • 481 My STC P&P Group members
  • 459 subscribers on our discussion mail list
  • 274 SIG members paid up through 2015

Corporate Value Program

Could your company benefit from the Corporate Value Program?
  • Organizations with five or more technical communicators can save on membership dues.
  • Organizations that sell technical communication products and services can benefit an array of high-impact, low-cost, exclusive marketing opportunities.
For more information, contact STC Business Development Manager Stacey O'Donnell at stacey.odonnell@nullstc.org or +1 (571) 366-1915. If you have ideas, suggestions, questions, or comments please contact us. You are the SIG! Your leaders and volunteers,
  • Dawnell Claessen & Emily Kowal, SIG Co-Managers
  • Louise Tincher, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Audrey Bezner, Website and Newsletter Manager

Quarterly Update – Winter 2015

New Members and Mail Lists

Welcome to all our new P&P SIG members. Unless you opt out of receiving SIG email, we subscribe you to our Announcement and Discussion Lists. The Announcement List is used for official SIG announcements. Participating in the Discussion List is a major benefit of membership in the P&P SIG. You will hear from other members periodically and be able to exchange ideas and information with them. To ensure that you receive our email, please add these addresses to your email contacts or white list.
  • pp-discuss at mailer.stc.org
  • pp-announce at mailer.stc.org
STC sends subscribers a monthly reminder with your mail list passwords and instructions.

Membership Renewals

STC is a non-profit professional association. We depend on your dues to support programming and other activities. 2014 STC Memberships expired on December 21st. Membership lists will be purged on Jan 15th. If you haven’t already renewed your membership, please do so now.

Corporate Value Program

Could your company benefit from the Corporate Value Program?
  • Organizations with five or more technical communicators can save on membership dues.
  • Organizations that sell technical communication products and services can benefit an array of high-impact, low-cost, exclusive marketing opportunities.
For more information, contact STC Business Development Manager Stacey O'Donnell at stacey.odonnell@nullstc.org or +1 (571) 366-1915.

Webinar

Forty three people attended our October 16th webinar by Early & Associates (www.earley.com): SharePoint Information Architecture: Improving the Policy and Procedure Process. If you missed it, SIG members can still view the recording at http://tinyurl.com/STC-PP-SIG-webinar.

Policies & Procedures Progression

Topics for the Policies and Procedures Progression at the 2015 STC Summit will include:
  1. Links, references and resources for policy and procedures analysts. A presentation and discussion of a bibliography of printed and online resources for everyday use in policy and procedure. -- Dawnell Claessen
  2. Topic: Career Development in Policies and Procedures. Practical tips and ways to develop your skills set, gain experience and advance your career in policies and procedures. -- Emily Kowal
  3. Technology and Tools in Policies and Procedures. An overview of some of the technology and tools we use to write, reviews, organize and deliver our policies and procedures. -- Louise Tincher
  4. Getting Started in Policy and Procedure – What I know now that I wish I’d known then. A presentation and discussion of what I consider my most helpful lessons learned in policies and procedures. -- Jamye Sagan
  5. Best Practices in Policies and Procedures. A set of guidelines and tips and tricks for policy and procedures analysts to work with. -- Audrey Bezner
  6. What I Know Versus Reality. What we memorialize in a policy or procedure versus what really happens in the field. Releasing a policy or procedure that has been approved, but was never edited by me. Hurry up and produce this document; wait and wait and wait to release it. What should be versus what the field says. -- Cindy Pao
  7. Documentation and Compliance: What regulations do you answer to? All industries have regulations, sometimes multiple sets of conflicting regulations. The key to compliance is clear documentation - policies, procedures, and forms, etc. -- Sherri Henkin

Miscellaneous

Don't forget:
  • Our Linked In Group
  • Our website at: http://www.stc-pp.org. We’ve posted instructions for the SIG mail lists, our SIG newsletter archive, and existing policy and procedure related article reviews.
  • STC plans to retire the My STC groups.

SIG Status

Our current numbers (as of 01/05/15) are:
  • 478 My STC P&P Group members
  • 388 subscribers on our mail list
  • 151 SIG members paid up through 2015
  • 197 SIG members PAST DUE TO RENEW

In Case You Haven't Noticed

The STC Policies and Procedures SIG is a part of a professional organization, but our SIG is run by volunteers. STC International provides support such as hosting our website and mail lists, processing dues and membership lists, and coordinating the annual Summit. However the SIG itself has no paid staff and we depend on volunteer contributions. One volunteer writes the Quarterly Updates and maintains the mail lists. Four of us launched the new SIG website with help from STC IT & Web Manager Kobla Fiagbedzi. Two of us coordinated the fall webinar. Seven of us (see below) plan to share our expertise through a progression at the STC Summit in June. That leaves 381 subscribers who are sitting on your hands. If you value this SIG, then we need your participation to make it a vital and active community. Some of you must be experienced professionals with knowledge and experience to share. Others must be newbies, who are asking yourself:
  • How do I build a network of professional contacts?
  • How do I build my professional expertise, reputation, and portfolio?
  • How do I locate new employment opportunities (and by-pass the black hole in HR)?
Well it’s right here in front of you. We need volunteers to locate and review policies and procedures related resources (publications, webinars, presentations, classes, etc.) for our mail list and website. Reviews don’t have to be long – just relevant. We could also use someone to summarize and mail list discussions and cross-post them to the website. A webinar coordinator would be nice too. If you have ideas, suggestions, questions, or comments please contact us. You are the SIG! Your leaders and volunteers,
  • Dawnell Claessen & Emily Kowal, SIG Co-Managers
  • Louise Tincher, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Audrey Bezner, Website and Newsletter Manager

Quarterly Update – Fall 2014 Copy

Lights! Camera! Action! The P&P SIG goes live with a new webinar and website.

New Webinar

Keeping policies and procedures up to date is an ongoing headache. How do you ensure timely reviews? In this webinar you’ll learn how one company uses information architecture to stay on top of the process. Register and mark your calendars now for this valuable webinar. SharePoint Information Architecture: Improving the Policy and Procedure Process

New SIG Website

It’s finally here! The new, improved, better than ever Policies and Procedures SIG website. We’ve posted instructions for the SIG mail lists, our SIG newsletter archive, and existing policy and procedure related article reviews. Check it out now at: www.stc-pp.org

New Members and Mail Lists

Welcome to all our new P&P SIG members. Unless you opt out of receiving SIG email, we subscribe you to our Announcement and Discussion Lists. The Announcement List is used for official SIG announcements. Participating in the Discussion List is a major benefit of membership in the P&P SIG. You will hear from other members periodically and be able to exchange ideas and information with them. To ensure that you receive our email, please add these addresses to your email contacts or white list.
  • pp-discuss at mailer.stc.org
  • pp-announce at mailer.stc.org
STC sends subscribers a monthly reminder with your mail list passwords and instructions.

New SIG Corporate Value Program Members

Welcome to our new STC Corporate Value Program members at Bank of America. Could your company benefit from the Corporate Value Program?
  • Organizations with five or more technical communicators can save on membership dues.
  • Organizations that sell technical communication products and services can benefit an array of high-impact, low-cost, exclusive marketing opportunities.
For more information, contact STC Business Development Manager Stacey O'Donnell at stacey.odonnell@nullstc.org or +1 (571) 366-1915.

Be an Active Member

Want to see your name in (digital) print? Send us your reviews of policies and procedures related publications (books and articles), webinars, presentations, classes, etc. They don’t have to be long – just relevant. We’ll post them to our new website. Want to get to network and make valuable professional connections? We’re looking for volunteers to help maintain and update our new SIG website. Summarize mail list discussions. Post summaries and reviews (see above). Add links to resources. Want to really meet the movers and shakers and see how STC works? Become a SIG leader. Join the SIG Leaders Discussion List and Forum. Participate in live online SIG Leader meetings and webinars. Get to know the people behind the names.

SIG Status

Our current numbers (as of 09/21/14) are:
  • 468 My STC P&P Group members
  • 298 subscribers on our mail list
  • 332 SIG members paid up through 2014
  • 5 SIG leaders and volunteers

Miscellaneous

  • Look for a Policies and Procedures session at the Summit in June. Thank you to Dawnell Claessen for submitting our proposal and Emily Kowal, Jamye Sagan, Audrey Bezner, Cindy Pao, and Sherri Henkin for collaborating.
  • Don’t forget our Linked In Group /li>
  • Note: STC plans to retire the My STC groups.
Remember, you are what makes this SIG work! If you have ideas, suggestions, questions. or comments, please contact us. New volunteers are always welcome. Your leaders and volunteers,
  • Dawnell Claessen & Emily Kowal, SIG Co-Managers
  • Louise Tincher, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Audrey Bezner, Website and Newsletter Manager
  • Darren Ritchie, Discussion Facilitator

Quarterly Update – Summer 2014

What's going on? Lots of changes and more to come!

SIG Status

Our current numbers (as of 07/17/14) are:
  • 457 My STC P&P Group members
  • 296 subscribers on our mail list
  • 298 SIG members paid up through 2014
  • 5 SIG leaders and volunteers

Mail Lists

This is the big news. The SIG mail lists have moved to an in-house host site. Many thanks to STC IT & Web Manager Kobla Fiagbedzi and STC Community Affairs Committee SIG Lead Ann Wiley. You have no idea how much hard work they put into this project. Unless you opted out of receiving SIG email, we subscribed you to the lists. Participating in the Discussion List is a major benefit of membership in the P&P SIG. You will hear from other members periodically and be able to exchange ideas and information with them. The Announcement List is for official SIG announcements. You cannot post to it directly (without moderator assistance). To ensure that you receive our email, please add these addresses to your email contacts or white list.
  • pp-discuss at mailer.stc.org
  • pp-announce at mailer.stc.org
Normally, STC sends subscribers a monthly reminder with your mail list passwords and instructions.

Website

Stay tuned. We're still working on the new Policies and Procedures SIG website. ETA this fall. Remember that when STC rolls out their new website, they'll discontinue My STC.

Linked In Group

Don't forget our Linked In Group. This provides an alternative site for discussions during this transitional period. Remember, you are what makes this SIG work! If you have ideas, suggestions, questions. or comments, please contact us. New volunteers are always welcome. Your leaders and volunteers,
  • Dawnell Claessen & Emily Kowal, SIG Co-Managers
  • Louise Tincher, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Audrey Bezner, Website and Newsletter Manager
  • Darren Ritchie, Discussion Facilitator

Writing Procedures

Intercom-November 2005; By Deborah K. Lockwood; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article provides basic instructions to technical communicators for developing policies and procedures from scratch. It provides definitions and examples for the terms policy and procedure. It presents techniques for establishing a clear writing roadmap such as using flowcharts or diagrams. Defines Playscript format and details how this format is used for writing procedures. Provides suggestions for establishing style guidelines, choosing numbering sequences, and organizing the procedures.

SOPs and the Technical Writer

Intercom-April 2003; By Mark Edelman; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article provides a thorough method for writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It begins with a clear definition of what SOPs are and what they should not be and takes the reader through the structure, the research, authorship, management, professional matters, and concludes stating that writing SOPs is one way for companies to excel. It explains in detail the elements that should be included in the creation of SOPs such as front matter, purpose, scope, definitions, roles and responsibilities, etc. Equally detailed is the list of recommendations for dealing with authorship issues, which writers of SOPs may have to face; the list includes minimizing cross references, using consistent language, testing procedures, etc. The article stresses the importance of managing the sets of SOPs written to achieve quality, and warns the writers to beware of organizational changes as the worst enemy of documented SOPs.