FAQ List – A Deeper Dive

RETURN TO “BIG HONKIN’ BINDER, THE DIRECTOR’S CUT

A challenge with procedures are the detailed situations.  Unfortunately these can quickly clog up the over all procedure so you then have a spaghetti diagram of conditions.

Such complexities may be okay for designing a Space Shuttle or an advanced manufacturing process – but most of of the time, people want the minimal approach for procedures.  This is where an FAQ list comes in.

In the AE-Contract Site, the list actually has three mixed purposes.  It enumerates the questions being asked (one FAQ) but also stores an issue log as well as an action log. Mixing such things is not without its dangers but in this case it works.

The following is the ‘data dictionary’ for the log provided for when I build a future FAQ log (or if you want to build your own, gentle reader).

Element Description​ Coments, Tips and Tricks​
Subject​
​A clear question with a simply Yes/No answer.  Ideally include a business function as a leading descriptor.
​The leading descriptors is a courtesy.
​Body The Body restates the question and provides the response.  A response that has not been verified should include a “— DRAFT —-” identifier.  This may include related links as applicable. ​Written in plain language.  Use bullets, number lists, etc. to improve clarity.
​Current? ​Yes/No flag indicating whether this FAQ is currently in use. ​FAQs are generally not deleted but instead set to ‘Not Current’ to indicate their retirement.
​Business Process ​Business Process reference.  Generally, only map to x.0 level business processes unless there is a very specific question/process map. ​Select the most relevant business process.
​Desk Reference Desk Reference linkage.  Generally only map to the high level ‘How To’ pages unless the there is a very specific question/desk reference map.
​Status ​Where is this question in the approval process?

0.Proposed: identified but not finalized.
5.Approved: endorsed by the contract managers, CIO/Directors or Ministry Finance.
9.Abandoned: identified but no longer being pursued.  Normally the Current flag is set to No and short explanation is given in the comments when this status is used.

​Comments ​Notes and details not entered elsewhere.  This should NOT contain content pertinent to the question or issue. ​Enter in reverse chronological order with a date and initial (e.g. 2099-99-31, ab:)
​WhatIsThis? ​What is this entry?  Options: FAQ or an Issue being tracked.  Resolution of an Issue is typically into a FAQ or update of the business processes.

1.Issue: A question to be resolved by ITM-Finance.
2.FAQ: Small guidance provided supplementing the procedures.
3.Action: An action item to be conducted by ITM-Finance.
9.Unknown: What the FAQ is uncertain and to be resolved.

​Contract managers specifically follow approved FAQs.

Others are to assist ITM-Finance.

Expires​ ​The date the item must be re-endorsed as applicable. ​This is typically done by the ITM Contract managers or ITM-Finance.