Follow these steps to create a business playbook that helps your company operate smoothly:
Use a template
Create a template for your business playbook so it follows a consistent format and is easy to update in the future. You can find existing templates online or create your own. The goal is to have an organized outline, so your team can focus on writing and developing the playbook's content.
Organize your content
Determine the elements you want to include in your business playbook, depending on your company's objectives and your purpose for creating the playbook. You might include sections about:
- Company vision
- Work culture and values
- Organizational structure
- Workflows and processes
- Performance indicators
- Operational guidelines
- Business plans
- Systems, tools and techniques
For each element, explain its importance, what success in that area looks like and how the organization measures that success.
Gather the information you want to include in your business playbook by reviewing all your existing workflow, operations and procedural documents. Organize them in one place, and revise any information that needs updating or is incomplete.
Make a list of your job responsibilities, and have everyone on your team do the same. Be as specific as possible, and include steps and examples for completing key tasks. Use documents such as performance reviews and project management software to identify expectations or processes you might be missing. Then organize all the information you have collected within your playbook template, and ask organization leaders to review it for accuracy and feedback.
Establish the right tone
Your business playbook should have a balanced tone that commands respect without being too authoritative. State expectations clearly and concisely, leaving room for employees to be creative and managers to use their judgment in certain scenarios. They are guidelines and best practices rather than laws. Also align your playbook's tone and language with your company's culture.
Use the playbook
For a business playbook to be effective, employees should use and update it regularly. Communicate with your team about the playbook's contents, and encourage them to refer to it frequently. Ask them to see if they can address their questions using the document before asking supervisors for help. Remind them that the playbook reflects the standards the company expects them to follow.
Update the playbook
Keep your playbook up to date and relevant by adding processes, checklists and solutions to common problems anytime you develop or discover them. Ask your employees to add software updates or process changes to the playbook when they occur. The person responsible for the updated task should also be responsible for updating the playbook. You might even schedule quarterly or annual playbook updating meetings with your team to get everyone's feedback.