Continuing our series on template design principles and their influence on our products, today we focus on five critical questions. We will continue examine our WHS Management Plan solution as an example. We hope this article is helpful not only in your decision-making process, but also in your personal professional development.
The Five Critical Questions of Template Design
Previously we considered the importance of understanding purpose and staying current with critical changes to laws and regulations. With this foundation established, we then focus on five critical questions:
- What is the purpose of the template?
- What features should we accommodate?
- What relationships exists between them?
- What changes might take place?
- How do we design in response to all this?
A Purposeful Safety Management Focus
Obviously, the first question will have been largely answered when we follow the systems described in article one. Identifying the essence and goals of the WHS Management document is essentially a process of complying with legislation and satisfying our customers needs.
Features Relevant to WHS Management
In the second question, we identify not only what compliance officials need to see, but also the input fields that influence the report, and the frontline workers who must implement the resulting policies and procedures.
In our WHS Management Plan, features we have decided should be present and prominent include:
- WHS Inductions - general induction, site inductions and training.
- WHS Reporting - Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), hazard identification and controls, WHS inspections, meetings and audit records
- Incident and Injury Management - procedure, report forms and investigation.
Relationships and Changes in WHS Factors
Questions three and four are the often forgotten aspects of template design. Perhaps the greatest challenge with templates is designing a Management Plan framework that will work for varied clients in highly varied locations. In order to do this we have had to ensure our templates accommodate information relationships and change.
Sometimes relationships between fields and topics is relatively permanent, while others can vary significantly. Our challenge, and your pleasure, is that we have balanced the need for structure against the need for flexibility. By weighing the relative permanence and relationships of each template element we have done the hard yards for you
This can be seen in the way our WHS Management Plan template presents the Hazard Reporting and Risk Management Process.
Designing a WHS Management Plan Solution
In the final question we focus not on the problem, but on the result. We need to ensure that our template design accommodates the many potential data variances (or input differences) that might exist.
This is not always as simple as it looks.
It is our confident belief however, after thousands of sales and consistently positive feedback, that we are achieving our goals. That is not to say we have arrived, or that we can rest.
WHS Management legislation always changes and industry needs are dynamic. For this reason we continue to apply good principles in our designs, while actively watch for changes in legislation, clients or trends.
The next four articles will explain how eight design principles implement the answers to these questions. Each will examine two design principles and their impact on different OHS/WHS template solutions.
You can access the WHS Management Plan template to learn more online, you can also purchase here, or phone and discuss your specific needs with us. Please do not hesitate to call us on 1800 304 336 as we would love to look after you the way we have done for so many before you. We like what we do!