The client was a large organisation with staff throughout New Zealand. They required assistance to create an online operational policies and procedures manual that would:
- capture existing organisational knowledge
- ensure compliance with standard processes and procedures
- clarify individual responsibilities and how job roles interacted, and
- be easy to update for changing legislation or new processes.
The organisation’s staff were located in district offices throughout New Zealand, making it difficult to enforce compliance with standard operating procedures. Existing documentation was a collection of various manuals and reference documents that were out of date, hard to find and difficult to update. Staff had lost confidence in the documentation and stopped referring to it, asking colleagues for help instead. The result was a ‘Chinese whispers’ effect and no authoritative source of truth.
Our consultants worked closely with the client’s management and staff. We knew that we had to bring in subject matter experts from each district office to get acceptance and buy-in, so a key feature of this project was to give people the skills to become active participants in the creation of the new manual. The project involved:
- Analysis and design: Based on a detailed analysis of requirements, our consultants developed the overarching information architecture.
- Prototype: A prototype demonstrating the structure, level of detail and ‘look and feel’ of the new online manual provided a vision of how the new documentation would work and created excitement for the project.
- Process mapping: Several process mapping sessions with representatives from each of the district offices resulted in agreement on best practices.
- Information Mapping® training: The client’s team of subject matter experts were trained in Information Mapping®. This provided a common documentation standard and gave staff the skills to seamlessly work with the Tactics developers on writing the new content.
- Documentation development: The processes, procedures, policies and forms required were developed in a collaborative effort. While our consultants managed the overall process and ensured the quality and consistency of the end product, subject matter experts contributed content from their areas and peer-reviewed contributions from their colleagues.
The new online manual was well-received. Because staff had participated so actively in the development of the content, they had a strong sense of ownership and pride in the manual. Job performance and compliance with standards improved as a result.