How To Capture Exceptions in Procedures
There are different schools of thought on this. Number the steps starting at 1 and
Continue upwards, e.g. 2, 3, 4, etc.
Use 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 for sub-steps.
Use If Then Else tables for sub-steps.
If Then tables let you present information is a nice, attractive manner and lets the reader see the different options available to them in a grid format.
How to Use If Then Tables For Complex Procedures
A simple example is applying for a bank loan.
|If the value of the property is less than $500k||Deposit 10% of value||Minimum deposit is 50k.|
|If the value of the property is less than $700k||Deposit 12% of value||Minimum deposit is 70k.|
|If the value of the property is less than $900k||Deposit 15% of value||Minimum deposit is 90k.|
The advantage of using an If Then table is that the user can drill-down and find the EXACT piece of information they need. For example, they need to know there is a 50k minimum deposit.
The alternative is to present the information as a list. While this may be easier for you to write (i.e. you don't need to create tables) it is harder for the reader to locate the specific piece of information.
- If the value of the property is less than $500k, you must deposit 10% of value and the minimum deposit is 50k.
- If the value of the property is less than $700k, you must deposit 12% of value and the minimum deposit is 70k.
- If the value of the property is less than $900k, you must deposit 15% of value and the minimum deposit is 90k.
They have to scan the entire sentence until the locate the information and then read the next line to compare one piece against the other. Not easy to do when you're tired or in a crowded bank branch with small children running around.
Over the coming weeks, We will drill down and look at other ways to write your procedures.
Tomorrow, we will look at how to test the procedure.