Web Writing That Works!

           A Project of
           The Communication Circle

Guidelines Rants Patterns Poems Services Classes Press Blog Resources About Us Site Map

HomeRants > How to organize a step-by-step procedure. > Build a process as a sequence of procedures.


Example: Analysis and Design

Build a process as a sequence of procedures.

A process is a way of doing things, so you can often build it out of a series of procedures that must be done in a particular order. 

Use a table of stages, or a flow chart, to demonstrate the sequence of procedures within the process.

If there are places where a person can one way or another, use a chart with a decision point.

If the procedures are done by different people, follow playscript format, indicating who does what in a parallel column, as in policies and procedures manuals.

A process, then, grows out of a series of actions and decisions.  On the ground floor, you have a series of procedures.

Caution: Do not call a procedure a step.  Sure, seen from high enough, an individual procedure is just one move forward in the process.  But reserve the word "step" for a single meaningful action within a procedure.

Recognize that you can build many levels of process out of procedures, and groups of procedures. 

Action can be viewed at many scales: at the lowest level, we look at a step.  One level up, and we encounter an entire procedure.  Then a group of procedures, which may be part of a process...and so on up the tower of Babel.

Your pattern for processes must accommodate action at several levels, building up from simple actions like flipping a switch to broad strategic processes, such as analysis and design.


Example: Analysis and Design

For a major consulting group, the process known as planning strategy takes place in three stages: Initial contact, strategy choice, and final planning.

Within each of those stages, the consultancy has figured out a sequence of tasks that should be performed.  For each task, their electronic performance support system (EPSS) offers a procedure, telling new consultants how to succeed.

For instance, during the Initial Contact Stage, the consultant must

(1.0a) Interview contacts, then

(1.0b) Rough out a schedule, and then

(1.0c) Demonstrate similar projects that the team has done in the past.

In the second phase of analysis and design, the consultants must analyze the existing system.  Here the EPSS offers advice on how to

2.0 Chart organization units.

2.1 Develop a process view.

2.2 Model data objects.  And then, when that model is verified...

2.3 Model the flow of information.

2.4 List functions.


Was I supposed to shave before or after brushing?


Home | Guidelines | Rants | Patterns | Poems | Services | Classes | Press | Blog |
Resources | About Us | Site Map

Web Writing that Works!
  2002-2004 Jonathan and Lisa Price
The Communication Circle
Discuss at HotText@yahoogroups.com
Email us directly at ThePrices@ThePrices.com
Order Hot Text (the book) from Amazon