Choose your own Operating Procedures?
March 17, 2014 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Currently I work in an administrative clerk-type position in local government. I need to create a manual for my job, so that someone else could step in if need be to do my work. Are there any apps or programs that would walk me through this?

Sone kind of template to help? I have quite a bit of down time this week and I'd like to get a good start on this.

(No, I did not have a cohesive manual when I started. I am a quick learner and I was thrown into the job. Only one other person in my organization really knows how to cover for me, and my higher-ups had no advice.)
posted by checkitnice to Work & Money (5 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know about a template, I'd just make a list. Use Word, make your list all H1s and H2s, and then group in some logical orders.

Start with "what this manual is" and then group by daily stuff, weekly stuff, monthly/quarterly stuff, infrequent stuff, maintenance stuff.

If you use Word and use their styles for your headings, makes it slightly easier to move groups of text around.

I'd also just figure out what the position you have is, and do a glooglying on "[clerk job name/task] daily procedures"
posted by tilde at 7:17 PM on March 17, 2014

I'd start with daily/weekly/monthly routine stuff, then keep it near you adding the unusual things as they come up. Put references to the actual written requirements you have to abide by if applicable.

For instance: You must double space this (CityInstructionPolicyNoteLetter 6410.13h paragraph 4 requires it; it is pointless to argue.)

Definitely, definitely, include a "contacts" tab. I kind of feel like when I'm in a new or temporary job, that's the only thing that matters. People give me as much help as they need to, if I only know who to ask.

Another thing people forget in written turnovers is where are the damn electronic copies of everything stored? And make it easier by making that place accessible (not your own storage only accessible to your login account - you'd be surprised how often that is the problem) and organized/self-explanatory. And keep it that way. If you get hospitalized tomorrow, is someone going to have to figure out which of the 13 "report.doc" is the current one, which ones are old, which ones are abandoned changes, and which ones are the next draft?
posted by ctmf at 7:42 PM on March 17, 2014

I had to do this at my last job right before I left. I just used Word's styles and TOC functions. I would start with a "brain dump" of all the potential things you need to cover, figure out how to organize them, and then fill in as necessary.

One thing I tried to do was impart some "institutional" knowledge. For example, I made a list of all the vendors we used, and also notes on things that would help the next person - i.e. Joe at Acme prefers to fax quotes, Jane at Smith Co will give us a discount if we ask for it, etc.
posted by radioamy at 7:42 PM on March 17, 2014

Oh, and yes, MS Word's "outline view" is awesome for brain dumping like that, especially if it can remain an electronic document.
posted by ctmf at 7:47 PM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have the luxary of time, keep a diary of what you actually do, and then summarize that after a sufficient time period?

Would catch all of what you officially do, and what you actually do.
posted by TheAdamist at 8:17 PM on March 17, 2014

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