Building the best process manual
A new Housing NSW bible pulls together dozens of documents held by various teams and stakeholders into one cohesive PDF manual.
Art of Multimedia used their PDF Fusion
solution to wrangle procedures, forms, case studies and more into a single repository. Now planners, project managers, architects, site supervisors and other regional staff involved in complex property upgrades at Housing NSW can refer to shared agreed standards, for the first time.
External hyperlinks to supplementary information – sample documents and photographs from successful projects completed over the past ten years – made it possible to deliver the content more clearly and concisely than ever before, reducing the document from 200-plus to just 89 pages.
A short guide was also created to provide an overview of the entire process, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each team member.
"Rather than writing chapter and verse everything our project team needed to know, we were able to insert links to secondary documents held elsewhere online – in particular those that need to be updated often," says Ila Vedi, the project manager at Housing NSW.
“This condensed the content and created space for us to include some background and strategic direction. What were once fragmented pieces of information are now bundled together and presented with a bit of context, to aid understanding of the community renewal process,” Ila adds.
The electronic format offers a few other benefits. Internal links allow swift navigation through the content via a menu across the top of each page and an index at the head of each section.
An internal search function allows users to hop straight to the information they need. And Housing NSW can edit content themselves with a professional version of the Acrobat software, or call on AOM to create additional pages for them.
Although AOM designed the document primarily for users to read on screen, discrete sections can still be printed on paper for quick reference in the field.
“We will be publishing our new manual via the Housing NSW intranet, along with a feedback form. Staff can use this to alert us to missing information and other issues, which we will quickly fix. There should be no reason for anyone in our project team to ever access incorrect information again,” Ila explains.
With PDF Fusion, Housing NSW have the opportunity to keep updating and enhancing their electronic manual – even embedding its pages with video, audio and Flash animation in the future.
“This is going to be a living document, which will be updated regularly with new ways of approaching the project processes,” says Ila.