Beyond training, an SOP manual gives existing team members a resource for less-frequently used procedures, ensuring procedures are done with the correct protocol, maintaining quality control. Writing a standard operating procedures manual requires having a clear understanding of the steps involved in any particular process. Define Core Processes Look at all of the core processes that your company has. Start to define which processes will be outlined and mapped in the SOP maual.
Many companies put off documenting their processes and procedures because they are too sheepish to admit that these are not yet in a state of perfection.
Perfection, however, is never a requirement for the well-written SOP. When they are well-written, they become one of the best tools for making improvement decisions.
A well-written SOP will be structured in three tiers of information as shown in the figure to the right. The top layer states why the SOP is being written, what specifically is its purpose, and when and where should the information be applied the scope.
How to Write a Standard Operating Procedure Now you know what a standard operating procedure is and why you need one. However, you may be wondering how you can actually go . When writing standard operating procedures, managers can choose a number of different ways to organize and format them. Your goal is to create a document that is easy for the reader to understand and helpful for the work at hand. Writing Standard Operating Procedures, also known as an SOP template, will allow you to standardize your procedures, get started quickly, and provide fast, easy answers to common Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) questions.
Before anyone starts using the SOP, you want to ensure that they will be able to understand and utilize the instructions correctly.
Allowing employees to learn as they go, which means learning by making mistakes, can be very costly to a company and even put it out of business. State upfront the pre-requisites and qualifications necessary for using the SOP.
Things sometimes are left undone when employees are unclear who is responsible for carrying out certain activities.
I thought so-and-so was supposed to do that.
Defining responsibilities also means people can readily determine who the go-to person is when they have questions. This reduces the chances of errors, gives employees confidence, instills pride, and expedites work. SOPs are almost always tied in with something else.
Departments have activities unique to their functions, and these activities may each require one or more SOPs. Employees must answer to their departments as well as to the company policies that apply to all workers. The company, in turn, has outside requirements driving it.
By providing references to the standards or regulations that apply to a SOP, internal or external, compliance becomes easier. As a company grows, corporate level policies typically begin to develop with the nitty-gritty details being left to the lower levels. Corporate has the bigger picture and establishes the larger goals that the company is striving to obtain.
If a liability issue arises, records show that the company did everything correctly and as intended. For everyday operations, records tell which tasks have been completed, when, by whom, and what needs to be done next. List the records involved with the SOP to eliminate the need to track down information.
There is a symbiotic connection of making sure that everyone is working in unison and that nobody is doing something that will undermine or negatively impact the other. The well-written SOP helps to ensure that all is in synch.
Any policies specific to the SOP should be pulled together in one location. Policies, like responsibilities, are an area where employees may have strong differences of opinion.
Collecting policies together in writing eliminates headaches. If the policies change, update the SOP. The next component of the middle tier is the processes.
Managers in particular just want to know the basics, i. What starts it, what happens, and what ends it? Managers are the decision makers so create flowcharts that show the decision rules.
Do not forget to include what happens if something does not go as planned. Details are not necessary; the reader simply needs to be pointed in the right direction when faced with a situation not covered by the SOP. Depending on the industry, actions made be required to identify and contain non-conformances or reports must be made within a certain time period.
Flowcharts permit the eye to quickly identify the major stages of the processes when fast reminders are being sought. The person using the SOP may not be the one carrying out the specific tasks.When writing standard operating procedures, managers can choose a number of different ways to organize and format them.
Your goal is to create a document that is easy for the reader to understand and helpful for the work at hand. One of the easiest way to write standard operating procedures is to see how others do it. What I’ve done this week is share 7 examples of different standard operating procedures examples (also called SOPs) so you can see how different organizations write, formant, and design their own procedures.
Standard operating procedures used in combination with planned training and regular performance feedback lead to an effective and motivated workforce. Writing Standard Operating Procedures, also known as an SOP template, will allow you to standardize your procedures, get started quickly, and provide fast, easy answers to common Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) questions.
An important aspect of any quality system is to work according to clear-cut Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). An SOP is a policy and procedure document which describes the regular recurring activities appropriate to quality operations.
If it is Critical To Quality (CTQ) then it is a candidate for a standard operating procedure. GUIDANCE FOR PREPARING STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES INTRODUCTION Overview A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that document a.