Op-timising your ops manuals

Your operations manuals (ops manuals) are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, none of your employees can be expected to know what is required of them and your business is unable to run efficiently and consistently.

Your operations manuals (ops manuals) are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, none of your employees can be expected to know what is required of them and your business is unable to run efficiently and consistently. 

If you run a franchise or multi-site business, your ops manuals are likely going to be quite comprehensive. While comprehensive, they may not be well organised, engaging and set up to maintain compliance and consistency. If your ops manuals are in Ideagen Op Central, you’re already off to a cracking start, but today I’m going to take you through how to optimise your ops manuals. 

Let’s get started.

Unique tiles

One of the great things about Work Central (Ideagen Op Central’s ops manuals module) is that you can create beautiful and unique tiles for your ops manuals. Instead of the old ops manual with a stuffy corporate stock image, you can make it something unique to your business and change it anytime you like.

For our own internal ops manuals, we chose to keep the style of the manual tiles consistent, but add a little bit of flair. You might choose some funny memes, some pictures of your team or some simple icons on different coloured backgrounds. Get a little creative, keep it in-line with your branding and you might find it actually makes quite a difference when it comes to engagement with your manuals.

Required reading

Did some important change just happen? Do you have to update a policy and need everyone to know about it ASAP? Well, it sure is lucky that you can set required reading for your ops manuals. 

I’d recommend you set required reading at the policy level, rather than the entire manual. It gives you more flexibility when you need to make some changes and it allows you to notify your team about the really important stuff, rather than everything. If you start notifying your team for every single thing regardless of whether it is business critical or just a nice to know, you might find your team starts to get frustrated and disengaged with the platform. Keep those compliance rates high and your employees happy with selective required reading on your policies.

Restricted access to manuals

Restricted access to manuals can be a really powerful tool for 2 reasons:

  1. If you have a lot of manuals, restricted access can hide the manuals from certain user groups or roles. This reduces the clutter in your ops manuals module and makes the manuals your team needs, much easier to find.
  2. Not everyone should be able to see everything. You might have some important information for Franchisees about the inner workings of the business, but your floor staff probably shouldn’t be seeing that. Restricted access can hide any sensitive information from the people who don’t need to see it.

Just as a side note, restricted access can be done at the policy level too. So for example, you could have a ‘marketing guidelines’ manual, but you might want to hide some of the animation and design sections from your data analyst team as they don’t really need that information. Instead of creating two manuals for those different roles in your marketing team, you can just restrict access to the policies that certain roles don’t need to read.

Engaging content types

Plain text throughout 50 policies and 6 different manuals can be a little tedious to read, so mix up those content types and keep those engagement levels high. The Work Central module allows you to keep things interesting with lots of different content types. You can: add attachments, embed videos, add in some images, link out to different pages or internal links to other sections of your Ideagen Op Central portal and more. 

Mixing it up with the content types you add in your ops manuals can keep it interesting, particularly for users in the onboarding stage who may be going through all your ops manuals in succession on their first day.


Some policies apply to different manuals (or different sections within the same manual), so mapping allows you to create one policy and sync it into the other relevant manuals and sections. This allows you to achieve a real Single Point of Truth (SPOT) as you would only have to change a policy in one spot and it will update everywhere it is mapped to. Meaning you no longer have to worry about spending a lot of time finding where the same content lives and you can be sure that consistency is being maintained.

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