Business, Business writing, Career

Five Steps Required Before Developing a Style Guide

The predevelopment of the style guide generally involves organization. This is the time when goals, responsibilities and time on the project are defined. Here are five steps for to try for the predevelopment of a guide.

Step 1: Get support from management.

Getting the support and commitment from management will help define the feasibility of the document and address or establish the budget. Remember, management is considering the value the project brings, for instance, its profitability, the money saved and improvements to the organization’s products or conditions.

Step 2: Determine whether its development will occur in-house or by a writing consultant.

A writing/style consultant may know more about writing, but he will cost money. In-house development may involve a team or a committee headed up by one employee.

Step 3: Organize a style guide development team. 

Identify the members of the team, such as whether it will include management or it’s a team of volunteers. Once the members are identified, establish each person’s role, a system for voting for action items and for reaching an agreement.

Step 4: Define the purpose and goal of the style guide and indicate who’s affected.

In a nutshell, you are defining the tasks at-hand, the mission. Laying out the goals will help establish an outline, utilization of the budget and schedule for completion and finding out who’s affected by the rules of the guidebook will clarify each person’s role.

Step 5: Set a timeline for completion.

Once the goals are established and the budget determined the team should determine a timeline for completion. Not only must it be feasible but it also should leave room for any delays.

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