How to write a process manual (job bible) for a wide-ranging job?
April 23, 2014 1:28 PM Subscribe
I need to build a process manual for my multifaceted job. Have you done this? What have you found to be the smartest approach? How did you divide your time/organize your manual? Which applications/tools are best for organizing/producing what will be a monstrous tome, and how do I go about it?
(NB: The company did not request this of me. Creating this guide is entirely my choice. It’s worth it to me in the long run to have detailed instructions to which I can refer and share with others.)
I have Microsoft Word at work and at home. I have Scrivener at home. I have the “Awesome Screenshot” Chrome plug-in. I would like to describe, in detail, everything that I do, step by step, with screenshots and annotations, for all imaginable tasks. Exhaustive is what I’m going for. I don’t expect to finish this anytime soon, but I want to start right away.
I wear several hats at my (new-to-me) job, from creating e-marketing campaigns, to processing new employees (which involves correspondence and the exchange of monies with various city and state agencies), to data entry and manipulation in proprietary software. On any given day, I will use between ten and twenty-five discrete websites in the course of my job, each of which has its own peculiarities, along with our company’s vast intranet and online tools.
I also function as de facto levels one and two tech support (from “did you try turning it off and on again” to “give me the computer’s IP address so I can remote in and reset server access”).
Finally, I share standard admin chores (phones, post, supplies, etc.) with three other multi-hatted comrades.
I asked if there were any kind of guide, either in print or online, for my position, but apparently this company has relied upon the “here’s a bunch of stuff the person in your position does; good luck” method of training employees for about sixty years, even as technology has drastically changed the industry.
I want to make a detailed process manual for everything that I do, so that any future employee in my position at any of our offices throughout the state will have a handbook to give them a head-start.
(Also, I want to take a vacation at some point in the not-to-distant future, and right now there’s no one else who knows how to do all of the things that I do.)
Most importantly – how do I not let this overwhelm me? I have two months’ worth of hastily scribbled notes on everything I’ve been learning since I was hired, and I need to organize them now. There are already too many of them all over the place.
All advice welcome.
(One caveat: we use Windows 7 at work, but everything at home is Mac. I know Word will translate back and forth, but I can’t do screen capture of the different website interfaces or databases at home, because it would be useless for illustrative purposes. I can organize my notes with Scrivener at home, but not at work.)