How to Write a Quality Procedure

Article

Lynch, Barbara F.   (1989, ASQC)   LTV Aircraft Products Group, Dallas, TX

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3651    May 1989    pp. 743-748
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Article Abstract

Well written procedures are a necessary part of any effective and measurable quality program. Unfortunately for procedures most quality professionals are trained in engineering, statistical analysis, and systems analysis and not in writing. If they have taken any courses in writing, the chances are those courses have emphasized communicating personal experiences, grammar and usage, style and format or presentation of technical data and not how to write a set of instructions someone else is expected to follow.

All writing is a process which includes deciding the purpose and format of the document, gathering information, organizing that information into a logical sequence and presenting it in language that the intended audience can read and understand. It is not a gift anyone is born with; it is a skill which has to be learned and can be learned by anyone willing to study and practice the steps in the process.

This presentation is an analysis of the process of writing as it applies to quality procedures. It covers those decisions which must be made before any procedures can be written, the basic methods of gathering information, the process of organizing information into a coherent structure, the preparation of a written draft, the process of review and revision, and the preparation of a final manuscript for publication.

Since both gathering information and review and revision require active participation by those who will use the procedure, one of the results of the writing process is a procedure people are willing to follow because they have helped design it. The result of a coherent structure and a well written draft is a procedure people can follow because they can read and understand it. Both results are necessary if a quality program is to succeed in preventing nonconformances and in contributing to the profitability of the company.

Keywords

Quality management (QM)


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