Part 18 Chunk information (procedure writing)

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Information about Part 18 Chunk information (procedure writing)

Published on June 21, 2016

Author: JoanneSorensen


1. 18. CHUNK INFORMATION Control the way people interpret your text Photo source: Unsplash (Romain Vignes)

2. In 1956, Miller identified the ‘magic number 7, plus or minus 2’ rule.

3. Copyright © Concept Editing 2015 According to Miller’s research, in general, people can only hold approximately 7 pieces of information in their working memory. However, developments in neuropsychology indicate that this number is closer to 4 (Chris Atherton). Photo source: Unsplash (Joanne Boj) Photo source: Unsplash (Marie-Sophie Tekian) This research implies that we can help busy readers find and understand instructions if we break these into small manageable chunks that are visually distinctive and meaningful to the reader. 4

4. These chunks make information easier to process

5. Break a long list of steps into smaller chunks or sub-sections. In this example, the steps have been broken up into 3 sections:

6. Alternatively, you could use a diagram (flow chart, process map) to reduce cognitive load. Consider this text. Photo source: Unsplash (Marie-Sophie Tekian)

7. 1. Release payments Step 1: Group and label the activities. You are looking for WHAT has to be done. (Not, HOW it is done.) 2. Process payments 3. Download the file 4. Print and save the file 5. Create ABA file

8. Process payments Payroll Team Release payments Team Leader Download the file Print and save the file Create ABA file Payroll Team Payroll Team Payroll Team Stage 2Stage 1 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Step 2: Create a chart or map that shows the sequence of activities and the responsible team. What to do

9. Step 3: a. Create a work instruction for each activity. b. Document the path of least resistance (the perfect world). c. Use the step-action format. d. NOTE: I have not used borders in the table in this example. How you release payments

10. Step 4: Now you are ready to record variations, deviations and supplementary information. If there are variations to this work instruction, record this in a separate column. Information relating to variations or deviations or supplementary information

11. ABOUT me People tell me that they want their procedures to support people’s performance; so I help them. I help people when their procedures don’t work. I write procedures for people who want to reduce the challenges and error traps associated with procedure use. I edit procedures against standards, programs, and best practices. I take a risk and research-based approach and I base my recommendations on industry standards and best practices. I coach and mentor people who have other jobs (people who are not professional writers) and help them improve their procedure development and writing skills. I develop formats for procedures that provide structure for writers and readers. I also develop style guides to support standardisation and consistency of procedure content. I review and analyse procedural practices programs. I give advice to leadership teams about how procedural practices can be improved and integrated with governance, improvement, and compliance programs. Read more of my ideas at: Web: Blog:

12. Connect with me Web page: Blog: Email: SESSION 19: USING LANGUAGE Ready to view the next set of slides?

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