How to Number Each Step in the Procedure
Every procedure lists the actions that the reader must take. To keep things simple, we list the actions (aka steps) is sequential order. Start at 1 and work upwards.
Note that some Business Analysts prefer to start at 0 and continue from there. Starting at 0 is used in Project Management documentation and often crosses over to other business documents.
Which is Right?
What's important is that you choose one style and be consistent. Don't change styles. Make sure your co-writers also use the same numbering system.
Also, if you're using MS Word to write the documents, you can take advantage of the automatic numbering system. If you opt to start at 0, create a unique Style for numbering the steps and use this instead.
One word of warning: if you share writing duties, you may have to remind the other writers to start at 0 instead of 1. I prefer to keep things simple and start all lists at 1.
Why Number Steps in Each Procedure?
There's a few reasons for this:
- It ensure that the reader starts at the correct place.
It removes any ambiguity or misunderstanding that could arise if the steps were not numbered.
It ensures that the reader does not ˇ®interpret' the procedure as he/she understand it and makes errors when performing the task
- It ensures that there is an agreed way for all staff to perform the same task. While this may seem intuitive, in smaller companies staff may performs tasks in different ways as per their understanding, training and preferences. How you backup files may be very different than how your colleagues do it.
Table of Contents
- Before you Start Writing Your Standard Operating Procedures
- How To Find Procedure Writers
- How to Get a Budget
- How To Cost The SOP Project
- How to Get Management Support For Your SOP Project
- How to Find An Executive Champion
- How To Setup the Procedure Writing Team
- How To Define Roles in the Procedure Writing Team
- How to Create SOP Writing Guidelines
- How to Organize the Information Gathering Phase
- How to Test the Current As Is Business Process
- How to Examine Alternatives To The Current As Is Process
- How to Write Standard Operating Procedures
- How to Write Your First Procedure
- How to Number Each Step in the Procedure
- How To Capture Exceptions in Procedures
- How to Use If Then Tables For Complex Procedures
- How to Test Standard Operating Procedures
- How to Get SMEs to Test Procedures
- How & When to Sign Off the Procedure
- How to Publish the Standard Operating Procedures
- How to Control Documents
- How to Use Track Changes
- How to Use Naming Conventions
- How to Convert SOPs to PDF
- How to Upload SOPs to the Document Management System
- How to Create a SOP Document Archive
- How to Backup SOPs Archives & Store Offsite
- How to Implement Procedures
- How to Schedule Assessments