The answer to this question is not an easy solution for many companies and worse companies don’t even realize their mistake until it is too late. To me the answer is obvious but to many companies in many industries, the answer is neither always obvious nor simple. Over the past 30 years, I have seen companies assign this important responsibility of policies and procedures writer to all kinds of positions and experience levels.
See list below and note that this list is in no way exhaustive:
- Policy and Procedure Analysts, Specialists, Consultants, Managers, or Writers
- Forms Analysts or Forms Designers
- Administrative Assistants
- Managers, Directors, or Vice Presidents
- Strategic Planners
- Human Resources Generalists
- Technical Writers
- Newsletter Editors
- Documentation Specialists
- Industrial Engineers
- Standards Engineers
- Compliance Specialists
- Web Specialists
- Assistant to the President
- Quality Manager
- Records Specialist or Consultant
- Anyone with an English or Journalism major
Even if the company selects any of these titles other than the first line item and assigns them the responsibility to write policies and procedures, it does not mean that these individuals can now magically write policies and procedures. This is the problem. Many companies simply do not understand the importance of policies and procedures to the company and the importance of criticality placing the right person in the role of the writer, reviewer, publisher, communicator, trainer, and implementer. To put it mildly, companies just do not understand how much influence the right person in this job can play in the outcome of written policies and procedures.
Just look at the key activities (or functions) of a full-time, experienced, policies and procedures writer, to name a few:
- Researcher of content, or business processes, through interviews, flowcharting, forms, or improved business processes
- Writer of policies or procedures in a logical, easy to read format that is consistent with other policies and procedures implemented in the company.
- Coordinator of reviews with users, managers, and executives to assure compliance
- Compromising with reviewers when necessary (that, ability to talk intelligently with managers and executives)
- Publishing policies and procedures in a variety of formats: Hard Copy, PDF, or Intranet
- Conducting communications campaigns
- Conducting training and mentor programs
- Performing statistical analyses of published policies, procedures, and business processes
- Conducting process improvement studies
- Conducting cost-benefit analyses of published policies and procedures
The job of the policies and procedures writer is more than meets the eye. Too many managers think that anyone can write a process flow and be done with it. This is far from the truth as the writer must also implement the policy or procedure document and assure that the users adhere to the content and that costs savings, if any, are realized after the implementation of the policy or procedure document.
To learn more about this subject, there are plenty of good sources about policies and procedures on the Internet. Do yourself a favor and expand your horizons.