Operational Manual Template
Tools & Efficiency
Operational manuals are essential to the health and success of any business. They are a written standard of operational that offer stability and consistency, which every business needs to thrive. Without an operational manual, once high-quality standards begin to fade as new employees are hired. To maintain a higher level of service for customers, business owners turn to operational manuals to help guide and train new employees.
An operational manual template is a standard template designed to help a business owner write the best operational manual for their needs. Not every manual is the same, so it’s important to determine your goals and expectations before putting one together.
Definition of an operational Manual
Typically, when you think about a user guide or manual, it’s a hard-copy manual that comes with a product you’ve bought at the store. For example, if you buy a TV at an electronics depot, it will come with a manual that tells you everything you need to know about how the product works, how to plug it in, hook up the cable, fix the colors, and so on.
These manuals are designed to educate the user on its use. The same goes for operational manuals in a business setting. They are step-by-step instructions, as needed, so employees know how to accomplish a job well done. They can be referred to at a later date if more questions pop up or there’s a complication with a machine.
Purpose of an operational Manual
An operational manual is nothing more than a tool that explains how to run your business. It will guide and teach employees on how to do every aspect of their job. It also lays out company standards and expectations, as well as how to operate certain machines, training, rules, codes, and personal conduct.
If its well-done, a good operational manual will allow the user to accomplish their tasks by reading the detailed instructions. Over time, they will develop habits for themselves and won’t need the manual, but it will always be available to return to if any issues complicate the job. It can also accompany a training course/video to help understand the job process visually.
Relevance of an Operation Manual
Operation manuals are designed with the user in mind, to allow employees the opportunity to see how they must complete their job. Operational manual templates help owners outline relevant information in a functional way that’s easy to read and understand. It can encompass directions in any number of formats, whether it’s step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task properly or a complex document that outlines how to operate a machine.
The goal is to create an operational manual that’s useful and relevant to the user. An operational manual template allows you to create a manual based upon a set workflow that provides value to your employees. For example, a manual shouldn’t just lay out every possible function of a machine. It’s a waste of time to teach someone a function they don’t need, so it only shows them what’s useful.
Contents of the operational manual Template
The operational manual template covers topics like the introduction, product description, technical info, product elements, tools, installation, operation, commissioning, transportation, storage, disposal etc.
Using the operational Manual Template
- The first step is to really understand the audience of the operational manual. Once you’ve determined who will read and understand it, it will help you with putting together the valuable and relevant information they will need to do their job correctly and safely.
- It’s a good idea to write out a workflow for each job. It will make it easier for your audience to guide their way through the manual with as little difficulty as possible.
Sketch out an outline of the different topics you wish to cover. You can use the content template above to help with the outline phase.
- Download the operational manual template and save it to your computer. Once it’s saved, you’re ready to begin!
- Once you have the operational manual template open, you can start editing all the headers and footers according to the information you laid out on your outline.
- As you finish editing the headers and footers, it’s time to start filling in the content.
- Once you’ve finished writing the bulk of the content, use the outline to add a table of contents at the front of the manual for easier access.
- Be sure to add a comprehensive glossary to the back of the manual in case there are any questions about certain terms and/or safety regulations.
- Once you’ve completed the full guide, take the time to proofread and revise it until it meets your standards.
- Take your time before publishing. Get valuable feedback on how you can improve your operational manual.
- If it’s 100% complete and the feedback is positive, you’re ready to publish the manual in whatever format you desire.