The Importance of Building Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) provide a baseline against which processes can be managed, performance reported, and continuous improvement embedded. Well-documented SOPs increase productivity, while reducing errors and improving policy compliance.  We help customers rapidly, and cost effectively build Standard Operating Procedures, but more on that later.

Importance of documenting standard operating procedures

Developing SOPs can be time-consuming, and while important often lose out to more urgent tasks. SOPs take people dependent processes and make them part of the way you as an organisation operate. Well-documented SOPs have many benefits, including:

  • Improves quality — SOPs provide a baseline against which activities are to be delivered. This will increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve quality by defining a “way” of doing things, rather than being person-dependent.
  • Provide consistency SOPs help ensure consistency in performing tasks. It shouldn’t matter who is performing the job, so long as they are able to follow the detailed instructions.
  • Drive continuous improvement Continuously reviewing, and updating SOPs as improvement opportunities are identified provides the opportunity to quickly and effectively embed continuous improvement.
  • Saves time and money A well-documented SOP can help to reduce the training time of a new employee. By referring to the SOP, your new or existing employee will have a reference source that will get them up to speed quicker, saving time and money.

What does a good procedure look like?

While the concept of creating SOPs may seem straight forward, many organisations cannot even articulate a clear structure and setup, before they even put pen to paper.

Better practice SOPs should include screenshots, work steps and narration for each step in the process. Importantly, SOPs must be clear and concise so staff can complete the tasks efficiently, effectively and with minimal questions.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) - optidocs

SOPs should always be a living document, updated over time as a core part of an organisation’s knowledge base.

A rapid and cost-effective way to build SOPs

Through a combination of process expertise, automated capture tools and a dedicated documentation team, optidocs build SOPs for companies around the globe.

optidocs uses templates and structures that are industry-leading best practices, and follow four distinct phases:

  1. Define scope Prior to building the SOPs, the taxonomy/process scope needs to be defined. optidocs leverage APQC process classification framework, the globally accepted best practice for this purpose.
  2. Capture and record — Automated tools are used to capture end-user’s desktop screens, workflow and voice to complete their tasks. These screen recordings are then used to build SOPs.
  3. Build the document After validating the SOPs, a team of documentation specialist build the process based on the recordings. For most cases, this is typically done in days, and includes detailed worksteps, process notes, and screenshots.
  4. Review and finalise — During this phase, the developed SOPs are submitted to you for review. Once reviewed, feedback is incorporated, and SOPs are finalised.

Related: Rapidly and cost effectively build SOPs with optidocs

Conclusion

SOPs help drive quality and consistency across your business processes. No one gets excited by the thought of writing SOPs, but there are mechanisms available to rapidly and cost effectively build Standard Operating Procedures. What are you waiting for, optidocs is here to help!

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Ready to get started in creating SOP?

optidocs is the easy way to rapidly and cost effectively build SOPs for your business. Visit the optidocs website to know more.