A Company Standards and Procedures document is simply the collecting point for the majority of the content you create for your company related to standards and procedures. How do you keep your recipes (for success) in order? You organize them and put them in a recipe book with a table of contents. That’s how! The standards and procedures you collect up, or write up, or find laying around should also be nicely organized and put into one concise location specifically designed to hold them. That’s a Company Standards and Procedures document at its simplest.
Small companies start out with pretty much nothing specific for standards and procedures. Then, as they grow they have a collection of really cool and important things they call their company standards and procedures. They get them from outside sources, they build them, they buy them, they bolt them on, but they don’t learn to collect them in one location (where possible) and keep them organized and easily accessible. Then one day they have many employees and everyone needs access to the core standards and procedures so they can do their job “the company way”. But everything is scattered, unorganized, and sometimes only available to certain people, even though the information really is (and should be) accessible to everyone in the company.
The Standards and Procedures Document contains the core framework that binds all of your company’s key and critical documentation together. As your business grows you need more and more structure in how you collect, manage, and disseminate this information we refer to as our business related documents. There are tools to help with this that bigger companies use that are not commonly known to smaller companies. They are called the Information Management (IM) and Knowledge Management (KM) systems
What’s in the Standards and Procedures (SaP) Seed Document?
This seed document has 45+ sections that can be broken into two categories: Core Content and General content. Most of the sections are General Content and are not populated. That is to say there is no actual text or content in those sections. They are simply placeholders in the document and Table of Contents where you should put your specific process for things. The most important content, the Core Content sections that are populated include:
• This Document – The first section explaining what this document is and why
What’s not in the SaP seed are the majority of the General Content that constitutes your company’s processes and procedures relative to your specific hardware, software, and business operating systems. By business operating systems I mean your people process, policies, tools, etc. As mentioned before, many of the sections are just placeholders for your specific processes and procedures. Many sections have subsections called out and ready for you to start populating. As you look through the document you will quickly see that the first several sections (Core Content) are fully populated and pretty much ready to go. Later sections, the General content are just a skeletal structure waiting for you to type up or paste in the content.
However, I have populated several General Content sections with my own processes for various reasons. I include my version of the Technician Time Management Guidelines because I consider it to be of the utmost importance for any company to have this handed to them. Most companies that are new, struggling, or just have not built this process out, should not be left to their own devices. I include the content for the section Service Call Guidelines because it provides a great example of what the content you build up should look like. Further, I include the Time Sheets Submission and Approval section as it is an excellent example of how to detail a process and how the Section Revision process for the SaP works.
Here’s what you get!