Operations Manual Template Table of Contents – 8 Essentials

An Operations Manual Template will allow you to create an Operations Manual quickly and with a minimum fuss. It is important to consider the table of contents as the first task in creating your manual. This will allow you to plan your Operations Manual accurately and increase the chances of it being a useful document for your team to use.

Using an Operations Manual Template with an existing table of contents instead of starting from scratch, will enable you to get it completed much faster.


Can you really afford to not have a Operations Manual in your business? Create an Operations Manual fast with this template. Click the links below to read more.

Operations Manual Template + 50 Free Templates



8 Important Pillars – Operations Manual Example

Most businesses have similar core elements to ensure they operate effectively. Obviously as they get larger, these areas will expand, however the basics are often several areas of company operations that can be broken into groups for easy identification and management.

These groups are outlined below.

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 9 areas of an Operations Manual. Coloured bubbles with black text.
Operations Manual Template | Create Certainty

The 8 areas above, identify areas of operations for any typical business. Operations Manuals are effective because they organise your business into a structure that provides the full picture.

As an example, a franchise type business utilizes a franchise operations manual template because these documents work. So if you operate a small or medium scale business, it makes sense to get organized and document your business to give it the best opportunity for success.

Focusing on the ‘areas’ or ‘pillars’ indicated above as a start, will allow you to create a relatively comprehensive Operations Manual and get your business systems underway. You can create an operations manual template in MS Word as an easy way to get started fast.

These 8 core pillars of operations are below.

1. Company Introduction

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Company and General Details and Information. Coloured bubbles with black text.

We believe an introduction to your business is appropriate, as it identifies firstly the business and also the owners and management of the organization. It simply makes people feel welcome which is hugely important.

If people are a key component of your organization, then making them feel welcomed and valued should be a priority. You can introduce your company, your history, how your business began and the people involved to bring connection and ownership to any new employees that start in your organisation.

Operations Manual Template
Business Introduction | Operations Manual Template
Operations Manual Template
Business Introduction | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

2. Vision and Values Manual

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Vision and Values and Set the Direction. Coloured bubbles with black text.

This Vision and Values section outlines the ‘Vision and Values’ of your business, sets direction for your team and allows you to think of the big picture.

What your business is all about is one of the most significant aspects of having a business. Why have you created it? What is your direction and where are you going? Communicating these things to your team, suppliers and stakeholders should be the first aspect you consider when creating an operations manual.

Set the direction for your organization.

An MS Word snip view of a Vision and Values Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Vision and Values Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

3. Administration Manual

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Administration and Business Support Services. Coloured bubbles with black text.

The Administration section includes everything to do with operating the administration side of the business. This includes things like general tasks such as answering the phone and providing stationary and facilities for staff to use on a daily basis.

This particular part of the Organization is important because it helps the business to operate smoothly.

Provide a comprehensive resource for administration aspects of your business.

An MS Word snip view of a Administration Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Administration Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

4. Finance Manual

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Finance and All about the Money. Coloured bubbles with black text.

The Finance Manual includes everything to do with finance such as approving monies to be spent, purchasing transactions, team credit cards and invoicing and debt collection.

This particular aspect of a business is crucial to ensure cash-flow and ensure the business has suitable funds to keep operating.

Finances and ensuring accuracy and accountability is crucial to business performance.

An MS Word snip view of a Finance Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Finance Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

5. Human Resources Manual

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Human Resources and All about the People. Coloured bubbles with black text.

The Human Resources section of a business can be complex and demanding. This part of the business deals with team contracts, entitlements, team member concerns and behavior.

There are plenty of standards that need to be met in this area of the business and are often dictated by law. Often one of the harder parts of a business this area often needs a specialist.

People are your most important asset.

An MS Word snip view of a Human Resources Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Human Resources Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

6. Production or Operations Process Manual

Operations Manual bubble diagram indicating 2 areas of an Operations Manual, Production and What you Produce and How you Produce it. Coloured bubbles with black text.

Operations need to be completed accurately to ensure product or service quality.

Operations are the core of your business and the product or service you provide. Documenting your process is one of the most important things you can do for your organization. It has far-reaching effects into all areas of your business.

  • Your operations process manual or operations playbook template should detail how everything is done within your business. From quality control to cleaning the factory floor or cleaning the office, it doesn’t really matter, everything should be documented.
  • As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking. However don’t expect it to be done quickly just expect it to be done thoroughly. Every time you document a process or procedure you save a significant amount of time the next time somebody needs to complete that task.
  • This is particularly important when new team members start in your organization. However it doesn’t apply just to new team members it applies to existing staff that have been there for a while as well. Having processes and procedures documented ensures a good quality outcome for your product or service.
  • Even existing team members that have been in your business for a long time need to be reminded on how to do things correctly. If your business is complex then these tools are necessary reminders to get things done to the standard you expect.
  • Can you expect to be delivering a high quality standard if you don’t have any rules or documentation to follow? It simply won’t happen because people will apply their own personal standards to their jobs. Everybody is different and everybody’s standards are different and so this is where operations processes and procedures come into play.

All of your operations and processes should have quality control checklists. This ensures that the quality leaving your business is of the highest standard. Everybody misses things particularly when there is a lot of details to be captured and therefore checklist are an awesome tool to ensure that quality is met

An MS Word snip view of a Operations Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Operations Process Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

7. Emergency Manual

Operations Manual - Emergency Section

An Emergency Manual is a definite inclusion for your Operations Manual. This type of document explains in detail what should be done should there be an emergency that impacts your business.

It includes actions and procedures to take in the event on an emergency.

Often a legislative requirements so this is a ‘must have’.

An MS Word snip view of an Emergency Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Emergency Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

8. Marketing Manual

Operations Manual - Marketing Section

The last part of the Operations Manual is the Marketing Manual Template. Marketing can take a significant amount of resources. This manual aims to provide standard procedures and guidelines for marketing your business.

Generate more work through your marketing team with accurate guidelines. The last part of the Operations Manual is the Marketing Manual Template. Marketing can take a significant amount of resources. This manual aims to provide standard procedures and guidelines for marketing your business.

An MS Word snip view of a Marketing Manual Template. Part of an Operations Manual Template.  Black text with white background.
Marketing Manual | Operations Manual Template

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

You might need additional areas for your business, however if you just start with the above, you will be well on your way to creating something of value for your organization.

Within each area there is likely to be a lot of detail. If you have particular personnel in your business that manage these areas then it would be ideal to get their input and ask them to take charge of their section.

With your guidance you will soon create a significant Operations Manual that will become an extremely useful tool that you can use daily and provide to new team members when they arrive in your business.


Operations Manual Table of Contents – Plan Ahead

So the table of contents will help you plan your document. If you list our each section and then sub-sections you will quickly be well on your way to creating a document that is useful and relevant.

The last thing any business needs is useless paperwork that no one reads or uses. This occurs in many organizations. It doesn’t have to in your business. Weather you are creating a manual from a non-profit operations manual template, or a simple business operations manual template, the key to success is to keep it flexible.

Just create something that is relevant, clear, easy to read and easy to update and use.

What Should be in your Table of Contents?

It will really depend on your business, how complex it is, what you produce and how it operates. However, you can pretty well assume that you will need the basics such as Vision, Finance, Operations and Marketing at the very least. Take some time to get together the main pillars of your business.

There isn’t any right or wrong way to do this. It comes down to your organization and how you want to structure it.

Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample

Looking for a Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample? Review this sample below. This is a basic operations manual outline sample for a typical business, so it may not apply to your business.

You could also try and find a free operations manual template online and use the information from it’s table of contents.

Generally, there are aspects of most businesses that are the same. Depending on how large your business is will depend on how detailed your Operations Manual is.

A really brief outline of a suitable table of contents is:

  • Welcome to your business
  • About the company
  • History of the company
  • Values
  • Workplace Information
  • Workplace Requirements
  • Health and Safety
  • Equipment
  • Marketing
  • Finances
  • Human Resources
  • Competitive Analysis – Target Market
  • Safety and Emergencies
  • Procedures
  • Culture and Team

You may need to break your operations down into the pillars as mentioned above or just use a simple document like the table of contents below.

Either way, you should start off by setting the direction of your business with a Mission and Vision and then progress to the general details and safety requirements. Then, after that you can jump into standard procedures and detailed tasks. Finally, summarize it at the end.

Operations Manual Table of Contents
Operations Manual Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Table of Contents
Operations Manual Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Table of Contents
Operations Manual Table of Contents Sample

Can you really afford to not have a Operations Manual in your business? Create an Operations Manual fast with this template. Click the links below to read more.

Operations Manual Template + 50 Free Templates


Operations Manual Examples and Samples

Examples and Samples Online

As we already know, an operations manual serves as a comprehensive guide that provides employees and management with essential information for an organization. One of the primary benefits of using an operations manual is its ability to streamline the employee and management experience by offering clear and concise instructions.

Whether it’s setting up a new product, learning how to perform specific tasks, or dealing with Human Resource issues, users can refer to the operations manual for step-by-step guidance.

An operations manual exemplifies an invaluable resource for both employees and management, offering a structured guide to navigate through the complexities of any business.

Finding an operations manual template for small business in the form of examples and samples online is a relatively straightforward process. However it is difficult to find a comprehensive and detailed sample operations manual template for free.


What is an Operations Manual – Operations Manual Definition

What is an Operations Manual?

Wikipedia describes it as:

“The operations manual is the documentation by which an organisation provides guidance for members and employees to perform their functions correctly and reasonably efficiently.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_manual
Operations Manual
Wikipedia Definition | Operations Manual

Operations Manual Quiz

Operations Manual Quiz

1. What is a primary objective of an operations manual in an organization?

2. Which section of the operations manual typically addresses emergency response protocols?

3. What role does an operations manual play in ensuring regulatory compliance?

4. How does an operations manual contribute to organizational resilience?

5. What is the purpose of regularly updating an operations manual?


Operations Manual Survey

Do you have an Operations Manual in your business?

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How to Create an Operations Manual Table of Contents

Operations Manual Sections MS Word

How to Create an Operations Manual Table of Contents

Clear and concise title of the Operations Manual

Subtitle (if applicable): Additional information about the manual’s purpose or scope.
Author/Company Name: Name of the organization or author responsible for the manual.
Date: Date of publication or last update.

Step 2: Table of Contents

List of Chapters/Sections: Provide a list of all the chapters or major sections in the manual.
Page Numbers: Include page numbers corresponding to each chapter or section for easy reference.

Step 3: Introduction

Purpose of the Manual: Explain the purpose and objectives of the manual.
Overview of Operations: Briefly describe the operations covered in the manual.
Target Audience: Specify the intended audience for the manual.

Step 4: Getting Started

Welcome Message: A brief welcome note from the organization’s leadership or author.
Mission and Vision: Include the organization’s mission and vision statements.
Organizational Structure: Describe the hierarchy and key roles within the organization.
Core Values: List the core values guiding the organization’s operations.

Step 5: Policies and Procedures

General Policies: Include overarching policies applicable to all operations.
Specific Procedures: Detail step-by-step procedures for various tasks and processes.
Compliance Guidelines: Include legal and regulatory compliance information.

Step 6: Operational Guidelines

Workflow Diagrams: Visual representations of key processes and workflows.
Role-specific Guidelines: Detailed guidelines for different roles within the organization.
Best Practices: Recommendations for efficient and effective operations.

Step 7: Training and Development

Training Programs: Information about training programs available for employees.
Skill Development: Resources for skill development and enhancement.
Certification Requirements: Information about certifications required for specific roles.

Step 8: Resources and Tools

List of Tools: Tools, software, and equipment used in day-to-day operations.
Resource Contacts: Contact information for key personnel or support services.
External Resources: Links to relevant external resources and websites.

Step 9: Troubleshooting and FAQs

Common Issues: A list of common problems and challenges with solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Answers to frequently asked questions related to operations.

Step 10: Appendices

Glossary: Definitions of key terms and acronyms used in the manual.
Forms and Templates: Sample forms, templates, and checklists referenced in the manual.
Index: An alphabetical index of topics, terms, and concepts mentioned in the manual, along with corresponding page numbers.

Supply:

  • Information gathering tool
  • Processes and information from team

Tools:

  • Word-processing software such as MS Word.

Materials: Knowledge about your organization or advice from employees enabling the gathering of information to collate into a document.

Remember, the key to a successful Operations Manual Table of Contents is clarity and logical organization. Make sure to review and update the table of contents whenever the manual is revised to reflect the most current information.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should be in an Operations Manual Table of Contents?

This really depends on the type and complexity of your business, however it should at least cover all the basics such as Human Resources, Financial, Safety, Processes and Marketing.

What should be in an operations manual table of contents?

An operations manual’s table of contents should include sections detailing company policies, organizational structure, workflow processes, roles and responsibilities, safety protocols, troubleshooting guides, and emergency procedures, providing a comprehensive overview of the manual’s content and enabling quick access to specific information for employees.

How long should an operations manual be?

The length of an operations manual can vary significantly based on the complexity of the organization, the nature of its operations, and the level of detail included. Generally, operations manuals range from 50 to 200 pages.

What are some high level sections for an Operations Manual?

Company
Vision and Values Template
Administration Manual Template
Human Resources Manual Template
Finance Manual Template
Emergency Manual Template
Marketing Manual Template
Operations Process Manual Template

What are some more detailed sections for an Operations Manual Table of Contents?

General Business Details
Organizational Structure
Roles and Responsibilities
Policies and Procedures
Workplace Safety Protocols
Training and Development
Quality Control Measures
Safety Requirements
Appendices and Resources


Conclusion

Creating an Operations Manual is a massive task. Developing your Operations Manual Table of Contents first is highly recommended so you can plan out what you wish to include in your Operations Manual.

It really depends on the type of business you are operating. If it is relatively simple, then you won’t need overly complex information within it. However, including the basics is very important to ensure you provide structure for your team to follow.

Save a huge amount of time and energy by using an Operations Manual Template.

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