Procedure Development Best Practice 1 – Integrated Development
The complexity of modern organizations necessitates a collage of policies, processes, and procedures to guide their operations. Some procedures guide the actions of personnel within a single workgroup while others govern interactions and handoffs between workgroups. Regardless of functionality or cross functionality of a procedure, they all involve the organization’s resources and, therefore, in some way(s) interrelate with human resources and/or financial procedures. Thus, all procedures are integrated with one or more other procedures.
The integrated nature of procedures means that the impacts of execution will resonate throughout the organization. While these impacts will most strongly influence those functions directly integrated, they will drive consequences in even the most remote operations. Therefore, it is imperative that procedure development be done in a cross-functional, collaborative fashion considering the following interrelationships:
- Procedure task related roles and responsibilities including those of up and downstream procedure integrations
- Functional and cross functional task handoffs to prevent redundant performance
- Technology integrations to ensure data visibility and seamless transaction flow
- Controllable and uncontrollable constraints (including constraint variability) within the procedure itself and up and downstream procedure integrations
- Philosophical procedure execution and that of up and downstream procedure integrations (e.g. rigid scheduling by date/time versus flexible scheduling by priority/milestone)
- Drivers of procedure execution success and those of up and downstream procedure integrations
General Procedure Development or Modification Steps
When developing or modifying a procedure, consider the following actions to ensure proper resolution of undesired operational impacts and constrains prior to procedure implementation:
Step 1: Identify all those policies, procedures, and standards interrelating to the procedure to be developed or modified.
Step 2: Engage a multidiscipline team representing each of the interrelated policies, procedures, and standards in the development or modification of the subject procedure.
Step 3: Develop or modify the subject procedure considering relevant up and downstream impacts and constraints listed above.
Step 4: Test the new or modified procedure (desktop review or role-playing walkthrough) to identify unexpected impacts and/or constraints.
Step 5: Revise the subject procedure to eliminate undesired impacts and/or constraints.
Step 6: Retest the procedure (desktop review or role-playing walkthrough) for additional unresolved/ unexpected impacts and/or constraints.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 5 and 6 as needed.
Step 8: Implement the new or modified procedure in accordance with the organization’s change management guidelines.
About the Author
Nathan Ives is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.
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