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Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development?
 

Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development?

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When you or others in your organization mention the term “template” for policies and procedures (P&P), do you really know what type of template you or they are talking about? It is a fact: there ...

When you or others in your organization mention the term “template” for policies and procedures (P&P), do you really know what type of template you or they are talking about? It is a fact: there is much confusion and misunderstanding about what is meant by “template” and the expectation of using a template for developing or communicating P&P content. Join the recognized P&P authority Raymond Urgo as he defines three types of templates and clarifies their purposes and limitations. He will reveal why people are tempted toward templates for solutions and fall victim to templates for the wrong reasons resulting in poor P&P content.

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    Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development? Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development? Presentation Transcript

    • Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development? Raymond E. Urgo | Principal | Urgo & Associates | rurgo@urgoconsulting.com Maxwell Hoffmann | Adobe Product Evangelist | Twitter @maxwellhoffmann | mhoffman@adobe.com© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Adobe Confidential.
    • About Adobe  Founded in December 1982  74 Offices in 43 Countries  $4.2 billion in revenue in FY2011  Corporate Headquarters in San Jose, California  More than 10,000 employees  Adobe donates a minimum of 1% of net income to philanthropy We simplify complicated, inefficient, and expensive workflows. We enable more engaging, compelling content. We drive greater return from digital media and marketing investments.© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 2
    • About Maxwell HoffmannMaxwell Hoffmann Product Evangelist, Tech Comm Suite Former Product Manager and Sales Training Director for Frame Technology 15 years in translation industry, working on “whatever documents walked through the door” Trained over 1,200 people in hands-on, scalable publishing solutions Customers in multiple industries; estimated 1,000,000 pages of multilingual production© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Adobe Confidential. 3
    • About Raymond Urgo (Mr. P&P) • Age 7: Wrote neighborhood club rules, played telephone company • Age 27: Methods & Procedures Analyst, New York Telephone Company • Age 40: Founded Urgo & Associates, management consultancy in P&P • Professional career mission: To define and promote P&P Communication as a discipline and a way to transform organizationsCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • 13 Common Mistakes about Communicating Policies & Procedures Information Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies &How to Avoid Them …and Procedure Development? [Part 1 of 2] Raymond E. Urgo Urgo & Associates www.urgoconsulting.comCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • What You Can Expect in Today’s Webinar • History and issues with templates for P&P • Three types of templates for P&P – Content format template – Mechanical format and style templates – Pre-written P&P templates • Reasons for temptations toward templates Free P&P resources AND a Special Offer!Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Brief History about Templates and P&P History • 1980s personal computing begins decentralizing content development in the hands of many (including P&P owners and writers). Aliases for P&P “template” • Late 1980s early 1990s desktop • Boilerplate publishing and online help authoring • Formatting style sheet technologies offer sophisticated formatting templates and style sheets • Cascading style sheet for content development. • Canned procedures • Packaged procedures • Late 1990s early 2000s “template” is an umbrella term for different types of • Pre-written procedures templates and for different content.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Issues to Address about Templates and P&PWhat to ask• What are you trying to achieve with a template?• Who will use the template?• What leads you to believe a template is the answer? Know the…• What type of template are -- outcome you are seeking to achieve with a template you considering for your -- expertise with P&P needs; and what are its communication of the intended limitations for your needs? user of the template -- type of template needed and its limitations to use.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Definition: Content Format Template Provides the prescribed, sequential layout of generic sections (such as Purpose, Scope, Responsibilities, and Procedure) of a P&P document, so the writer can “fill in the blanks” with the information.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Example: Content Format Template Characteristics: • Used with extrinsic (fill- in-the-blanks) approach to P&P development • Has content format with one level of headings and barely any mechanical style • Good for highly predicable P&P content that is brief, simple, and very consistent in nature (such as cookbook recipes)Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Pros and Cons of Content Format TemplatesPros Cons• Template users know what • Template users do not know what high-level sections of content and how to present detail content to include and in what order• Helps creates consistency and • Does not create consistency and uniformity in high-level “look” uniformity in expression of ideas and style, unless a P&P documentation pro rewrites it• Content users know what • May have missing content and/or high-level sections and in what unnecessarycontent order to expect from document to document Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Definition: Mechanical Format and Style Templates Provides instructions or macros for • creating a pre-set layout for pages or screens, and • applying pre-set fonts and type sizes for headings, text, tables, and more.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Example 1: Mechanical Format and Style Template with Instructions Pre-Set within the Document Template Characteristics: • Used mostly with extrinsic (fill- in-the- blank) approach to P&P development • Has pre-set style settings and may also have pre-set instructions on what to include • The writer saves the file as a document under a new name than the document template.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Example 2: Mechanical Format and Style Template (with Macros) Attached to a Document File Characteristics: • Used mostly with intrinsic (create from inside out) approach to P&P development • The writer attaches the template or style sheet to the document being created. • Works best when the writer knows and masters principles and techniques of P&P communication • Useful for topic and sub- topic authoring with ability to create content in non-linear manner and with generic and non- generic headingsCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Definition: Prewritten Policies & Procedures Templates Provides generic content about a P&P-related subject for adaptation to the respective needs of an organization or user.Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Issues with Pre-written P&P Templates Issues to know and remember • Organizational issues “Our management only cares that we have P&P content to • Documentation issues show for audits and • Don’t forget the certifications. Forget responsibility to “adopt, employees using the content to learn and perform modify, and maintain” properly.” • Expect to get in value what you pay -- Technical writer explaining why his organization purchased pre- written P&P templatesCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • What You Can Expect in Today’s Webinar • History and issues with templates for P&P • Three types of templates for P&P – Content format template – Mechanical format and style templates – Pre-written P&P templates • Reasons for temptations toward templates Free P&P resources AND a Special Offer!Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Reasons for Temptations Toward Templates for Policies & Procedures Development • Concerned only that P&P “Templates are tools that aid in content exists the application of the • Thinking templates are the principles and techniques of solution because fast is best effective Policies & Procedures Communication.” • May not know alternatives “Know the rules for developing content nor before the tools.” where to get assistance -- Raymond Urgo, • Thinking templates teach Internationally and guide people to recognized leader in develop and present P&P Communication P&P content effectivelyCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Urgo & Associates Policies & Procedures Consulting Services• Provide assessments and strategic advice on P&P programs and resources• Lead P&P content development projects to simplify complex practices and content• Teach and mentor in P&P Communication• Advise P&P product and service providers in the P&P Marketplace on trendsCopyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Urgo & Associates P&P Resources and Special Offer Free P&P resources at www.urgoconsulting.com • Articles, book reviews, white papers, presentations • Award-winning e-newsletter The Policies & Procedures Authority Special offer ! Complimentary consultation (first 7 requests by email) Contact information Raymond Urgo rurgo@urgoconsulting Urgo & Associates www.urgoconsulting.com 323-851-6600Copyright 2012 Raymond E. Urgo
    • Questions and Answers© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 21
    • Contact Information Information Raymond E. Urgo LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/raymondurgo Principal Email rurgo@urgoconsulting.com Urgo & Associates Web http://www.urgoconsulting.com 1616 N. Fuller Ave., #428 Phone +01 323-851-6600 Los Angeles, CA 90046-3893 Maxwell Hoffmann Blog blogs.adobe.com/techcomm Adobe Systems, Inc. Blog blogs.adobe.com/mbhoffmann Product Evangelist Twitter twitter.com/maxwellhoffmann Email n mhoffma @adobe.com Web www.adobe.com LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/maxwellhoffmann Facebook As Maxwell Hoffmann Facebook As Adobe Technical Communication Professionals Group Calendar of upcoming eSeminars: http://adobe.ly/xdzOYa Previously recorded eSeminars: http://adobe.ly/qo3pzc© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Adobe Confidential. 22
    • © 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Adobe Confidential.