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 Like a Pro — The “How To” of “How To’s”

Proceedings-1999; By Rebeca J. Edgerton and Jill Nicholson; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article is a brief summary of the session to be presented at the STC Conference. It is an invitation to attend the workshop for “Writing Procedures Like a Pro.” It outlines the topics of the workshop, its benefits, and advantages.

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.

Procedures – The Sacred Cow Blocking the Road

Proceedings-1998; By Michael Hughes and Loren Burke; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article introduces characteristics of procedures that produce a mismatch when compared to characteristics of users’ needs and expectations. It explains the principles of user interaction with written documentation and elaborates in detail on the emerging non-relevance of step-by-step- procedures as written today.

Creating “Living” Policies and Procedures

Intercom-November 2005; By Geoffrey J. S. Hart; Summary by Maria Christophel (2006) This article states that policies and procedures goals found in dusty old binders were created to enshrine best practices or to evaluate employees. The author explains that these policies and procedures would not be valuable unless they are effective in supporting the employees to achieve the goals of the organization. The author supports best practices, consistency, training, and compliance as goals for writing policies and procedures; but in addition, the author explains the reasons why policies and procedures must react immediately to business changes, thus arising the need to create living policies and procedures.