We have a number of projects running at the moment that involve us improving organisations’ policy and procedures documents. It may not seem likely, but these projects are enormous fun.
The best analogy I can find is that it’s like rearranging someone else’s record collection. Or in a more modern setting, it’s like creating a playlist from someone else’s mp3 files. Everything ends up in order, or as Hans Christian Anderson said, “everything in the right place”.
The trick with policy and procedures documents is to break them in to small chunks of information, each of them preceded by a heading that describes the topic. The key factor is: each topic must only contain the information described by the heading. This activity results in the equivalent of a big bag of lego bricks – giving you, as your next step, the pleasant task of connecting and arranging all these topics into the right order.
To work in this modular, object, based way it’s best to avoid tools that take a more linear approach, such as Microsoft Word. We’d recommend, instead, you use a ‘modular’ authoring tool that enables you to generate a Word or PDF document once you’ve finished.