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Procedures Manual - A Living Document

I read community digest daily and am not surprised by how many people inquire about writing procedures and creating a manual.

Here are a few tidbits that have helped our procedure manual be used daily.
 
  • Organize your content much like your Blackbaud database is organized.
  • Use bookmarks and create a table of contents.
  • Date all procedures with date created and date updated along with the initials of the person doing the work.
  • Use lots of screenshots and links to narrated video - If you plan to share your procedures outside of your organization remember to white out the confidential information.
  • Have at a minimum two monitors. Excellent for creating and for the end-user!
  • Allow others to edit the manual.
  • Get that all important buy-in from those that use the procedures.
  • Set your permissions to restrict editing the document and be able to approve the track changes others have suggested.

I hope you find this helpful!

(Community Manager's Note: This is a blog entry in our Summer School contest. It has not been vetted by the Raiser's Edge Team for accuracy.)
Posted by Elizabeth Johnson on Jul 24, 2017 12:28 PM America/New_York

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It has been a huge help, especially when you are brand new!
  • Posted Wed 26 Jul 2017 08:17 AM EDT
Some great tips...two monitors and the snipping tool are great helps!
we also include the file name & path in the footer so others can get to the file and edit it as needed!
  • Posted Thu 27 Jul 2017 09:22 AM EDT
Thanks Heather, Joan and to all that voted! Had I more space in the blog I would have loved to ask what others find helpful to add to the list. I know I had more tips that got cut. I'll try to add them here later.
  • Posted Mon 31 Jul 2017 11:21 AM EDT
I love the idea of a "Table of Contents" and also have two monitors.  Great advice!  Thanks :)
  • Posted Mon 31 Jul 2017 01:53 PM EDT
Is this referring to creating a personalized online manual, or are you just using Word or Google Docs?
  • Posted Mon 28 Aug 2017 05:04 PM EDT
Our manual is in Word, however you could limit changes to a Google Doc to just comments, mark suggestions, or use the revision history to see what changes have been suggested. I hope that helps Julia.
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 02:13 PM EDT
I am a big fan of manuals. Great advice!
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 12:15 PM EDT
Great thoughts!
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 12:41 PM EDT
I like the idea of narrated videos. How do you do those hardware/software wise?
  • Posted Mon 07 May 2018 04:34 PM EDT
I use Jing with a microphone on my computer. I learned about Jing from someone at BB support. Great way to share screenshots with a url in chat.
  • Posted Tue 08 May 2018 06:30 AM EDT