Introduction to the eDocumentation Process by Knowledge Process


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Introduction to the eDocumentation Process by Knowledge Process

  1. 1. Introduction to theeDocumentation Process ® Clear, Concise, Complete, and Correct Policies, Processes, and Procedures Knowledge Process, Inc. Web: and
  2. 2. eDocumentation Process™ eDocumentation Process™ Clear, Concise, Complete, and Correct™ Policies, Processes, and ProceduresPolicies, Processes, and Procedures are part of the knowledge and experience of an enterprise and are a vitalenterprise asset. Policies, Processes, and Procedures are one of the lifelines of an enterprise. They play a majorrole in many types of strategic initiatives and assist in achieving those initiatives’ specific goals, objectives, bestpractices, and results.The eDocumentation™ Process is a structured and comprehensive guideline to researching, developing, writing,testing, and maintaining Policies, Processes, and Procedures. The Guidelines and Worksheets break down theeffort into a series of manageable tasks and steps. The approach emphasizes tasks that can be defined,analyzed, evaluated, and measured. It is a guideline, not a rigid set of instructions. It is scalable for projects –from the enterprise level to the department level.The researching and developing documentation requires understanding the distinctions between a Policy, aProcedure, or a Process. All address related subject matter but at a different level and with different types ofcontent. Each type has a unique purpose that drives the content contained in each type of document.eDocumentation Process™ Task Guidelines and WorksheetsTo guide the Documentation developer through the eDocumentation Process™, each Task is defined and acorresponding Worksheet is provided to guide and verify the Task.eDocumentation™ Process PhasesThere are four major phases that comprise the eDocumentation™ Process. The phases encompass the Tasksthat need to be reviewed and performed as a project progresses, depending upon the enterprise, project, andscope. Plan The Plan phase incorporates the tasks that are required to ensure the project is properly scoped with the correct focus, proper content, level of detail, and team members. Policies, Processes, and Procedures are frequently dependent upon other resources and even other projects; therefore, it is important that all the puzzle pieces fit. Build The Build phase researches and develops the Policies, Processes, and Procedures. Based on the decisions from the Plan phase, the Policies, Processes, and Procedures are researched, written, verified, and tested. Implement The Implement phase rolls out the Policies, Processes, and Procedures to all the users. The Implement phase incorporates appropriate change management principles. Page 2 of 10
  3. 3. Policy, Process, and Procedure – What Is the Difference?Change The Change phase addresses the process that tracks and updates Policies, Processes, and Procedures. Change is the nature of Policies, Processes, and Procedures. Therefore, guidelines and Processes are introduced to assist with keeping Policies, Processes, and Procedures current. Plan Build Implement Change Define Project Evaluate Policies, Perform Content Compile Scope and Processes, and Research Documentation Objectives Procedures Develop Policy, Perform Content Create Review Categories Process, Audit Tables of Contents and Usability Procedure Review Policy, Publish Policies, Project Review and Define Audiences Process, Processes, and Published Procedure Procedures Recommendations Test and Verify Receive Requests Define Determine Policy, Process, for Additions and Project Teams Training Approach Procedure Changes Test Define Content Training Review and Review Planning Categories and Classifications Approval Tasks Usability Revise Perform Subject Prepare Training Change Request Review Policy, Process, Matter Breakdown Materials and Approval Procedure Edit Train Define Standards Policy, Process, Policies, Procedure Processes, Procedures Define Approve Policy, Process, Archive Training Standardized Procedure Materials Terms Mark as Final Implementation and Training Define Preliminary Policies, Review and Published Table of Contents Processes, Recommendations Procedures Project Planning Phase Development Review and Review and Approval Approval Policy, Process, and Procedure – What Is the Difference? Page 3 of 10
  4. 4. Policy, Process, and Procedure – What Is the Difference?Many years the terms ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’, and ‘Procedures’ have been interchanged. ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’,and ‘Procedures’ should be considered distinct types of documentation.The researching and developing documentation requires understanding the distinctions between a Policy, aProcedure, or a Process. All address related subject matter, but at a different level and with different types ofcontent. Each type has a unique purpose that drives the content contained in each type of document. Describingthe distinctions using who, what, where, when, why and how often helps to understand and properly structurethem.Policy qualities Policies are the business rules and guidelines of a company that ensure consistency and compliance with the company’s strategic direction. The Policies lay out the business rules under which a company, division, or department will operate. Policies are the guidelines under which Procedures are developed. There is not a one-to-one relationship between a Policy and a Procedure. Policies are not part of the Procedure, because they cannot be properly structured. However, the Procedure must reflect the business rules contained in the Policies. Policies address what the Policy is and its classification, who is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the Policy, and why the Policy is required.Process qualities Processes are related activities that produce a specific service or product (example, Procurement to Payment). The majority of Processes cross departments or functional areas. Each Process designates the connect points and where it crosses department lines. The documentation presents the total Process. It is helpful to be able to reference or drill down to the applicable Policy or Procedure for a Process step. A Process map is a useful tool to graphically display the Process. Processes indicate where there is a separation of responsibilities and control points. They are also very helpful to identify Policy and Procedure requirements. Processes address who is responsible to perform the Process (department, division), what major functions are performed, and when the function is triggered.Procedure qualities Procedures define the specific instructions necessary to perform a task or part of a Process. Procedures can take the form of a work instruction, a desk top Procedure, a quick reference guide, or a more detailed Procedure. Procedures usually are structured by subject (for example, system instructions, report instructions, or Process tasks). A Procedure usually addresses only a single task. This separation enables Procedure components to be compiled into special Procedure manuals for specific audiences, end users, and purposes. Procedures detail who performs the Procedure, what steps are performed, when the steps are performed, and how the Procedure is performed. Page 4 of 10
  5. 5. Policy, Process, and Procedure – What Is the Difference?Driving from Hollywood to Los Angeles – A Policy, Process, and ProcedureUsing common maps to illustrate the differences between a Policy, Process, and Procedure, the followingexample illustrates that different content is contained within each type of document. While all the informationrelates to the subject of driving from Hollywood to Los Angles, different content type is used for differentdocuments. Policy Policies are the guidelines or laws that drive the Processes and Procedures. Processes Processes are a high level view. The tasks within the overall process are identified. Procedure Procedures are the detailed steps required to perform an activity within a process. Page 5 of 10
  6. 6. Policy QualitieseDocumentation Process™ ExampleThe following eDocumentation Process™ example shows a Topic and the Topic’s Worksheet. The purpose of aTopic is to describe a Task that is part of the eDocumentation Process™. The Topic is the equivalent of a Policy.The Worksheet gives the user an overall list of items to check and verify, as it pertains to the Topic. TheWorksheet is the equivalent of a Procedure. Policy QualitiesPolicy aligns and supports the enterprise’s strategic plans, goals, and objectives. It is the foundation for thecontent of Processes and Procedures, as they should not contradict a Policy. Policy should remain fairly stableand not be subject to as frequent changes as a Process or Procedure. Policy should always have a review dateassociated with it, to ensure that it is compliant.Policy is the foundation for an enterprise, country, location, functional area, or department. Policy forms ahierarchy with each level, aligning with the policies above it. Policy may need to be adapted, based upon specificrequirements or regulations for a country or location. However, these adaptations must align with the policiesabove it in the hierarchy. For certain subjects, you may need an umbrella Policy that states the basic andunchanging content, such as Legal and Financial Reporting. While there may be different country Policies, theenterprise would have a Policy that is senior to all other Policies.Policy addresses the laws, guidelines, strategic goals, objectives, best practice, culture, and values of anenterprise.There are many purposes for Policy: obtain a high level of quality; understand the legal requirements; obtainaccuracy of processing; obtain consistent and reliable metrics; implement consistent and required controls; andreduce risks and penalties. Only through Policy can the purposes and requirements be communicated andimplemented.There are two types of Policies - passive and active: Passive Policies are stand-alone Policies: For example, a sexual harassment Policy. The Policy provides the implementation guidelines and requirements – because it is a legal requirement; therefore a Process or Procedure may not be required for implementation. Active Policies require supporting Processes and Procedures in order to implement the Policy: For example, control points within a Process. In order for the Policy to be implemented, the users must know the exact steps required by management.Many Policies are cross functional, which requires collaboration during development and reviews. Therefore,when developing Policy, know who is affected by the Policy.Because Policy is the foundation for a company, it is essential that management know that the correct version ofa Policy is being used by all who are affected. They will know that the correct version is being used, if they knowwho requires the policy; what the effective date is; when the next review is required; where the document islocated; and proper reviews and approvals have been obtained. The first step to achieve the objectives is to setup the Policy as a separate document. The following should be avoided: Many Processes and Procedures have a section called ‘Policy’. Processes and Procedures may reference or provide a link to the applicable Policy, but the Policy should never be incorporated in the Process or Procedure. Page 6 of 10
  7. 7. Policy Qualities There is usually a one to many relationship between Policy and Procedures. Therefore, one Policy, or several Policies, may be referenced in many Processes and Procedures. If the Policy is stated or detailed, not just linked, maintenance of the Policy then becomes impossible. Rather than updating just one Policy document, multiple Process and Procedure documents must be reviewed and updated. The Policy is not able to undergo scheduled reviews. Because the Policy can be fragmented between Processes and Procedures, it is not possible to ensure that all references to the Policy are updated. Management is not able to review Policy as a stand-alone document. The Policy becomes fragmented, and this makes management reviews more difficult. Therefore, a standard review date is difficult to achieve.Policy subject matter experts are management and those who have knowledge of the law and legal requirements.It is necessary to provide management with the tools so that the Policy can be properly stored, accessed, andreviewed. Page 7 of 10
  8. 8. Policy Worksheet Policy WorksheetDate:Purpose: Verify Policy meet standards of format and content.Standards:  Enterprise  Functional Area  Department  OtherPolicy Type:  Umbrella  Stand-alone  Sub Policy  OtherDependencies:  Umbrella  Sub Policies  Requires  Other ProceduresCompliance Type andDescription:Owner:Audience:eDoc Phase: Build PhaseeDoc Prerequisites: Content Research, Writing Style, Templates and SkeletonsDeliverables:Cpt Task Notes Initials Define Policy characteristics and qualities Type of Policy - Select appropriate type(s) of Policy.  Law  Guideline  Objective  Best practice  Culture / Value  Strategic goal / Objective Scope – Select the Policy scope.  Enterprise  Country / Location  Functional area  Department  If other, describe the scope Purpose – Select all appropriate purposes. Page 8 of 10
  9. 9. Policy WorksheetCpt Task Notes Initials  Understanding  Quality  Accuracy  Metric  Control  Risk assessment  Potential penalties Responsibility.  Owner  Compliance  Review team  Other Required actions. Passive or stand-alone. Policy evaluation Who is the primary audience? Who is the secondary audience? What is the purpose of the Policy? Is the Policy cross-functional? Is the Policy dependent on other Policies? Is the Policy an ‘umbrella’ Policy? Is the Policy missing information? Are there Policies that duplicate or overlap? Page 9 of 10
  10. 10. About Knowledge Process About Knowledge ProcessKnowledge Process, Inc. provides services and expertise for the research, development, and validation ofContent and Documentation for Policies, Processes, and Procedures. For more information, contact: Knowledge Process, Inc. Web: and ©2010-2012 by Knowledge Process, Inc. All rights reserved Use of this site/document indicates approval and acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy Page 10 of 10