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Zavanta Software Procedure Principles Highlighted in New Book by Management Expert Jack Nicholas

Some miss the value that operating procedures bring to an organization, but as Jack Nicholas says in the newly released, Secrets of Success With Procedures, “No lean, reliability-centered, totally-productive, quality-assured (pick your favorite description) approach can achieve permanent, long-term success without being thoroughly documented with up-to-date “living” procedures.” Nicholas says, “In my experience of nearly 50 years nothing has been more effective in assuring consistent top performance than the use of procedures supported by a proper compliance policy and an active program of continuous improvement, reward and reinforcement.” In Secrets of Success With Procedures, Nicholas describes and discusses many management attributes centered on written procedures and includes a sample procedure found in COMPROSE’s Zavanta Policies and Procedures Management Software.

“Secrets of Success with Procedures is a quick, must-read for anyone involved in Policy, Process, Plans and Procedure management or for leaders wanting to make long-lasting improvements in their organization,” says COMPROSE Founder Kathy Anton. Jack’s extensive experience validates yet again that ‘Good Procedures = Success.’ He shows that with clearly communicated standard operating procedures, organizations can drive the outcomes they want.

If you have thought of standard operating procedures as nice-to-have non-essentials or a “necessary evil,” see if you still think so AFTER you read Chapter 7, ‘How to Investigate Procedure Not Followed’ and the included case study entitled ’The Matchbox and the Nuclear Reactor.’ The concepts Jack presents are based on principles of human behavior supported by case studies showing just how effective and essential they are.

The key components of good procedures and their management that Jack recommends are inherent in our Zavanta Policy and Procedure Management software. Zavanta’s focus is on the USE of procedures to achieve the mission (fewer errors, increased efficiency, fewer safety incidents, happier customers). That’s the real value of policies and procedures. Success is tied to content quality and reliability: having access to procedures that are so clear and well-thought out, anyone can use them to achieve the mission. This is why we invented our Zavanta software and why we designed it they way we did.”

In his book, Nicholas references several features that a good policy and procedure software tool should have. These attributes are all built into Zavanta: automatic formatting, built-in advice to aid in training of those developing procedures, print and web-ready content, standardized Pick Lists for rapid and standardized content creation.

Other interesting topics in Secrets to Success with Procedures include:

  • Focusing on the process and less on “fixing people” makes everyone more accountable and ensures the same mistakes don’t happen again;
  • When a serious error occurs that can be eliminated or minimized in the future by use of improved procedures, digging into the details in a way that doesn’t threaten those involved but solicits their ideas for change, is critical for mitigating risk;
  • How to get a 10 day experienced person to perform a task just like the 10 year experienced veteran;
  • Dealing with cultural change;
  • The relationship between Policy - Process - Plan -Procedure - Work Instructions;
  • Important elements to include in procedures;
  • Why you should capture warnings, precautions and tips from experts and users who have done the job before and written or improved the procedures.

In describing his use of Zavanta Jack states:  “As I formulated the ideas for this book I conducted a search over several months for software tools that support and enhance best practices in policy, processes, plans and procedures management. Zavanta by Comprose not only met my criteria, but contained some features I hadn’t thought of, like having common work instructions that could be inserted in multiple procedures and when needing changed could be found easily and modified with ease. After Terrence O’Hanlon, President and CEO of, the publisher of Secrets of Success with Procedures (about 150 other books and Uptime Magazine), read the draft and accepted it for publication, he asked me to coach his 20+ person staff in becoming a procedure-based organization from top to bottom. Over a period of six months we were able to achieve all the goals set for that project. COMPROSE’s Zavanta Policies and Procedures Management Software made it easy. We finished about the time the book was published.”

Mr. O’Hanlon stated the following regarding this transformational effort and the impact of Zavanta on it:  “Working in a process and procedure based managing system has made a huge difference in performance at Everyone has a way to understand the tasks they are being asked to perform and what steps they need to take to be successful.

“Originally, we were worried that working with defined processes and written procedures would dampen our innovation and continuous improvement efforts. However, it is just the opposite. Team members can easily improve the way they work and now they have a way to ensure all the other team members benefit from their innovations as well.

“I am thankful for the leadership we received from Jack Nicholas and the support we received from Comprose to implement and execute this new way of working using their Zavanta software. I cannot imagine working in any other system at this point.”

Secrets of Success with Procedures (ISBN 9781941872239) can be purchased at:

About Jack R. Nicholas

Jack R. Nicholas, Jr., BS, MBA, P.E. (California), CMRP, CRL, CAPTAIN, USNR (Ret) has been project manager and developer of predictive, condition monitoring technologies and maintenance and reliability programs, as a senior civilian engineer working on U.S. Navy nuclear submarines and surface warships for 17 years, and then as consultant to and trainer of key personnel in government , oil field services, mining, refining, utilities, manufacturing firms and a publisher in North America (Canada, USA), Australia, Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong) and the Caribbean for the past 26+ years.
He has advised and trained US and UK government agency personnel (Defense, Energy, Aeronautics & Space and Nuclear Regulation) and the Electric Power Research Institute on best maintenance practices, including reliability centered maintenance, predictive condition monitoring and related matters. He was founder in 1989 of what is now called PdMA, Inc., where he conceived its first motor circuit analysis suite and helped recruit and lead its R & D Team. He helped bring the product to commercial success in the mid-1990’s. He and his wife founded two other companies, each of which operated profitably for over 10 years. He is now a sole proprietor focused on writing for publication and professional presentations, consulting and workshop facilitation.
He is author, co-author, and/or editor of eleven (11) books on reliability, maintenance and related subjects and contributor to many other books originated by professional contemporaries. He served the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Certifying Organization (SMRPCO) for seven years from its startup in 2000 as Board Member, Exam Director, Team Leader and Chairman of both Certification and Accreditation Committees.


Since 1987 COMPROSE, Inc. has worked with hundreds of organizations to streamline and standardize their operations. COMPROSE is a single-point resource for any organization that wants to bring more structure to the people side of their business. Hundreds of organizations already use COMPROSE’s Zavanta software to standardize operating procedures and best practices. The COMPROSE website highlights client success stories including improved performance, faster ramp-up, reduced training costs, and streamlined regulatory compliance.

COMPROSE Zavanta® software breaks through the limitations of conventional approaches with a faster, better way to capture, maintain, and deliver clear standard operating procedures, policies, training manuals and work instructions that employees actually use and understand—accessible 24/7 from their browsers or MS SharePoint.

COMPROSE also provides informational whitepapers and authors a series of blogs on operations improvement and training including corporate training best practices, and Policy and Procedure Best Practices focused on getting the highest return on investment.

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