How to Make a Playbook

By Contributor

Playbooks are used in everything from professional sports like football to the coordination of business sale teams to protocols of important government offices. In all cases, you need to use the correct procedure to make a playbook that is relevant, legible and helpful.

Establish the important terms, symbols and scales of size (if you're using pictorial representation) and elucidate everything in an introduction or a glossary. Abbreviations, numbering systems and your method of citing other sources should also be clearly explained at the beginning of the playbook.

Divide your playbook into major section that each have important sub-sections, as in Offense and Defense for football (or any other sport), or Free Media, Advertising and Major Campaigns for a marketing playbook.

Create an organization tree that shows all of the positions in the team that the playbook serves to direct. Your tree should show each position's relation to every other position and should provide readers with the common names and abbreviations used to address all the positions.

Develop "plays" or protocols for action on the basis of different scenarios and contingencies and in terms of your competitors. For each play that you make for your playbook you should try to think of all the possible things that could go wrong so these things can be added as you make progress.

Keep each section of the playbook and the playbook as a whole under strict lock and key. It's important for all members of your team to know the playbook inside and out (even if a given section doesn't apply to their positions), but you should also know where copies of the playbook are so you don't make the shattering mistake of leaking a playbook to a competitor.

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