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

P&P SIG Progression at Tech Comm Summit

This year's Tech Comm Summit will be in Columbus, OH 21-24 June 2015. We sure hope you plan on attending. Here is a link to all the conference particulars: http://summit.stc.org/ The P&P SIG will be there! We will hold our annual meeting and there will be a luncheon. In addition, we will host the following progression session topics: #1 Dawnell Claessen - Topic: 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 & Procedure. #2 Emily Kowal – 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. #3 Louise Tincher - Topic: 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. #4 Jamye Sagan – Topic: 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 P&P. #5 Audrey Bezner -Topic: Best Practices in Policies and Procedures. A set of guidelines and “tips and tricks for policy and procedures analysts to work with. #6 Cindy Pao - Topic: 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. #7 Sherri Henkin - Topic: 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.  THIS TOPIC CANCELLED.

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

P&P SIG Site is Up!

I am thrilled that our new site is finally up! One of our goals with this site is to be more inclusive and encourage our members to visit and to contribute, even if it is just a comment. I hope all P&P SIG Members will visit the new site and tell us what you think! You will find announcements (P&P SIG webinar next month!) and a link to our discussion lists.

P&P SIG Webinar

SharePoint Information Architecture Improving the Policy and Procedure Process Mark your calendar for 16 0ctober 2014 (Thursday) 1:00-2:00 pm eastern time This webinar is free for P&P SIG Members Here is a link for more information and to register: http://more.earley.com/sharepoint-information-architecture-for-policies-procedures Once you register, you’ll get an email with links and instructions. Be sure to manually mark your calendars. STC Member Rate is $29 Non Member Rate is $59

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.

Building an Electronic Documentation Repository

Intercom-April 2005; By Barbara Block; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article presents a model for creating a documentation database that provides easy access to its users and a self marketing tool for the technical writer. It describes the three reasons for building a repository: building a showcase for the work produced, developing creative talent, and providing easy access of procedures for its users. The article provides insight as to the major milestones for building the repository: creating the database, designing the front end, and linking the database to the front end.