Case Study – Creating an operations manual for a pan-European medical service provider

About Affidea

Affidea Group BV is a company that offers premium diagnostic imaging, cancer detection and cancer treatment services. It focuses on delivering prompt, thorough diagnoses and high quality treatments by working only with state-of-the-art technology and experienced medical professionals.

Affidea operates a network of Diagnostic and Cancer Treatment Centres in 14 countries across Europe. The company employs over 3,000 professionals, of which more than 750 are medical doctors.

The project

Affidea required us to produce a so called “Blue Book” of company operations. Some of the material for the Blue Book already existed and had been documented; other material had not been documented. The existing material had been written by non-native English speakers and/or non technical authors, because of this there was a lack of consistency to the existing documentation. The information required for the new material was largely not documented anywhere and subject matter experts (SMEs) were based throughout Europe.

The project involved re-designing/writing existing content, interviewing SMEs in order to get the information required for new content, putting together new content and finally assembling all the information into the Blue Book.

Phase 1

During the planning phase it was decided in consultation with Affidea that each section of the Blue Book would follow a specific layout i.e. the same sections would be found in each chapter. At this stage we knew what the chapters in the Blue Book would be and we had a working idea of what sections would be in each.

Phase 2

Phase 2 involved taking the existing material and re-organising it into the new layout. This enabled us to see where gaps in the content lay. The existing material was also re-written to ensure a consistent, fluent document.

Phase 3

Affidea arranged a series of interviews with top level staff at their headquarters in Budapest, Hungary. These interviews involved Cherryleaf finding out information for the Blue Book.

We had our skeleton structure so it was a matter of guiding the interviewees through the process. The SMEs had enormous amounts of knowledge and the challenge for Cherryleaf was to get the pertinent information from them in the correct amount of detail. The challenge for the SMEs was that in addition to providing the information required they had to do this in English – for 95% of them English is a second language, they all rose to the occasion and were incredibly helpful.

Phase 4

The information from the interviews was transcribed and re-written so that it fitted it in with the structure and tone of the Blue Book. The chapters were then all pulled together to create the final Blue Book.

End result

A coherent, well structured, consistent operations manual that can be used throughout Affidea.