Re: Policy=Function=Operation=Goal=Task=Process

Subject: Re: Policy=Function=Operation=Goal=Task=Process
From: Win Day <winday -at- home -dot- com>
To: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 08:29:11 -0500

At 02:45 PM 3/2/00 -0800, Anthony Markatos wrote:

Tony Markatos says:


My current understanding is as follows:

Can describe the 'What': Policy, Function, Procedure, Operation, Goal, Task, and Process.

Can describe the 'How': Procedure, Operation, Task, and Step.

Note: I forget where 'Activity' fits into anybody's scheme.

Here's the standard tech writing answer: it depends. <grin>

If you're describing an Activity in such a way that you're explaining how to do it, it's a "How" document -- a procedure, an operation, a task. Sound good so far?

If you're describing an Activity in such a way that you're explaining what was done in a particular circumstance, it's a "What" document -- a report. Does that make sense?

The company I'm currently contracting to is going through this kind of sorting-out right now. They're trying to categorize all their existing documents into two categories -- Standard Operating Procedures, or Work Instructions. Some of the existing docs don't exactly fit into the neat little boxes. There are Manufacturing Procedures (not SOPs, these docs cover very specific instructions for a one-time event like the cleanup after a flood of the manufacturing facility); Manufacturing Reports (after-the-fact reporting of events), and some uncategorized ones like the Organization & Responsibilities Matrix.

I guess the answer is, don't try to limit yourself to only having certain doc types. Some square pegs just won't fit into the round holes.


Win Day
Technical Writer

mailto:winday -at- wordsplus -dot- net

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