SOP, or standard operating procedures, is a step-by-step document outlining how an individual should complete a project assignment. It emphasises the description of each project as a chunk of a full project, indicates who is in charge of the work, and specifies the timeframe for deliveries.

An SOP, as per Wiki, is a set of step-by-step guidelines produced by an organisation for staff to follow when doing everyday tasks. SOPs strive for efficiency, quality output, and consistency of performance while reducing misunderstanding and noncompliance with industry laws.

How are SOPs crucial?

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) must clearly express your company’s processes in order to standardise operations and maintain revenue, accuracy, and performance. These guides can also be used to impose a set of rules, define roles and relationships, protect against the loss of key individuals, ensure compliance, and more.

Their primary responsibility is to ensure that your employees accomplish their jobs correctly. Manuals should outline how to accomplish things in clearly defined steps, and each process should have its own SOP.

Method To Write Standard Operating Procedure

You can write SOP by following these step by step processes.

Step 1: Determine How Your SOPs Will be Formatted

When it comes to viewing your standard operating procedures, you have a range of structures and layouts to select from. Large corporations will almost certainly wish to follow the international standard ISO 9000 or something equivalent.

It is not necessary to adhere to international standards while developing a good standard operating procedure. A SOP with the following structure can be written:

  • Introduction
  • Summary 
  • Brief Description
  • Overview
  • Checklists that are related

The structure you choose is determined by a lot of factors; for example, as a major organisation, you’ll require SOPs that correspond to the firm’s internal standards and standardizations. As a solopreneur, you’ll most likely want a considerably simpler presentation.

Step 2: Gather All Essential Partners.

SOPs should not be developed in isolation. If you’re making them to document specific workflows, responsibilities, and procedures, make sure you communicate clearly with the people who are already in charge of carrying them out.

If you lead a team that is already working on the responsibilities you wish to document on a daily basis, you should gather best practises from them and include them into your SOPs. Collaboratively developing your processes not only adds more knowledge and scrutiny to the job, but it also gives the individuals who follow your SOPs a greater sense of belonging over them.

Step 3: Determine Your Objective

As you develop your standard operating procedures, consider what you want to achieve. If they are entirely novel, you are attempting to construct working systems. If you want them to work properly, you must ensure that the processes’ objectives correspond with the company’s priorities.

If your SOPs are documenting existing procedures and processes, you should think about your pain points. If your current procedures are failing you, you must determine what you can do to improve them. The existing system may be excessively slow or provide a product of insufficient quality.You must produce a detailed process description of the tasks required and ensure that the requirements are met each time the work is accomplished.

Step 4: Determine the Management Structure of Your SOPs

In a major corporation, your standard operating procedure will be formatted as a detailed statement, complete with a cover page with the title and associated reference sources, a list of chapters, and the process itself.

SOPs in a small business are likely to be significantly less formal. Choose a sensible structure and stick to it for all of your SOPs.

Here are some examples of structures:

  • The storyline is neatly structured.
  • Lists with bulleted or numbered steps
  • Tables
  • Step-by-step infographics Step-by-step photographs
  • Flowcharts
  • Images for one page
  • Guidelines

Frontline employees may choose step-by-step lists with photographs and graphics for rapid reference, whereas legal and leadership may prefer more detailed and clearly organised pages of text.

Step 5: Determine The Procedure’s Scope

When developing a set of standard operating procedures for the product team’s work, keep them and their needs in mind. You must understand where to draw the line in order to avoid wandering into the purview of other teams or departments. A workflow may require numerous teams, but you should know whether this is the case from the outset. If you don’t clearly specify the boundaries of your task, you’ll end up with project scope.

Determine what you’re working with – what activity identifies the start of the process? What action denotes the completion of the process? Defining your range is critical for developing a good SOP.

Step 6: Maintain a Constant Style

It’s important to repeat that if you work for a huge organisation, your soaps will be much more official than your startup team of three. Whether you use professional proper language or not depends on the situation. The following suggestions are applicable regardless of the firm for which you work:

Begin with action instructions — always use a verb at the start of a task statement. This type of language explains precisely what you need to achieve and has an impact on your audience.

Be succinct – try not to ramble in a SOPs manual. Make sure your writing is straightforward and only conveys the most important facts.

Final Words

Take the time to investigate and test your SOPs before releasing them to the rest of the firm. Create your SOPs cooperatively to make the most of your staff’ information and understanding into your operations.

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