Quick Tips on How to Create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

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Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) refers to written step by step instructions that are primarily designed to help people within an organization to completely, effectively and consistently carry out their tasks.  If you are thinking of developing this type of document for your business, then you have to make sure that you create it in a clear, concise and easily understandable manner so those who are tasked to follow it will never have a difficult time understanding the details.  Here are just few of the many tips that you should keep in mind when trying to develop the most effective and comprehensible SOP:


1.  Deal with all the department heads of your business organization.  You have to talk to them as this will allow you to acquire information about the specific events and activities within the different departments that merit a policy.  It is also advisable for you to think about the specific challenges that are usually faced by your business organization.  You can then consult with the department heads so you will get an idea about the best practices that you can use in handling certain challenges and situations.  If you deal with disagreements when performing the meeting, then it is advisable for you to take note of all these so you will know exactly how to deal with them in the future.  It is also important for you to focus your attention on outlining the most essential policies that will allow you to smoothly run your business and achieve your desired level of profit.


2.  Organize your outline in the most logical manner possible.  A wise tip is to use a numbering system because this is a major help in instantly referencing specific policies from the different sections in the document.  Assigning whole numbers to main policies and decimals for the subsections is also a wise move in creating an easily understandable SOP.  It is also advisable for you to avoid using confusing terms when writing the details of the document.  If possible, use clear and concise terms.  You should also consider incorporating a glossary containing definitions of words that are difficult to understand.


3.  Assess the SOP’s clarity.  Before creating the final document, you have to make sure that all the policies and procedures stated in the standard operating procedure are sufficiently clear.  You can assess its clarity by determining if a newly hired employee can follow the instructions stated in the document.  If newly hired employers continue to commit errors, then there is a great tendency that your SOP is confusing and you need to simplify it to improve its effectiveness.


4.  Seek the help of your department heads when it comes to reviewing the document before final printing.  This is a huge help in ensuring that the contents of the SOP are free of any errors and confusing policies.  Take note of all the comments stated by your department heads and use these to create the final version of the document.  Once done, you can either print it or make it available through online viewing.


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