How to Produce Procedure Manuals Part 2 – Policy Writer
The Manual’s Style
Just like the Table of Contents, the style of the Manual reflects the information it has. As a rule of thumb, a good Policy Writer ensures that each Chapter of the a Manual contains the overview, objective, scope and application of the procedures or policies so that the reader clearly understands the requirements.
It’s best to keep the narrative simple and direct. ‘Bulleted’ style is the easiest to write and preferred in many Organisations. Keeping each bulleted point to two or three-line sentences is common but longer types are not wrong either; as long as the message is clear and concise.
Additionally, since Policy/Procedure Manuals are also commonly associated with rules and terms, keeping the narrative positive (more do’s than don’t) and in a conversational tone as much as possible engages the reader better. The idea is to impress and inform; thus finding better ways to re-write a negative sounding rule or policy helps elevate their intentions.