Learn How to Write a
Standard Operating Procedure
(Free Templates & Tips!)
In this blog we discuss what SOP’s are, the benefits to having them, what to include in them, and how to create them using our SOP templates.
What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?
A Standard Operating Procedure is an “established or prescribed method to be followed routinely for the performance of a designated operation or in designated situations.” Essentially, it’s a detailed document that outlines actions you take to accomplish recurring tasks within a business, like a checklist.
What are the benefits to SOP's for a business?
Put simply, Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs, ensure jobs get done right every time. Supporting new and existing employees with clear work instructions reduces the learning curve for a procedure and ensures assignments are executed with precision and accuracy.
Without SOPs in place…
- Operations can come to a full stop when an employee leaves or is simply out of the office.
- New hires (even existing employees!) struggle to fulfill their roles.
- There’s no guarantee that all tasks will be completed correctly.
- Redoing work becomes all too common.
Empowering your team with SOP’s allows them to complete tasks with consistent standards and care. This reduces errors, rework which, in-turn, fosters organized growth for your business.
What should you include in your SOP?
To develop your Standard Operating Procedures, here are a few things to consider:
- Determine the goal of what each SOP aims to accomplish.
- If upper management or other staff are involved, list them and their role in the SOP.
- Determine who or what department the SOP is intended for.
- List the steps and guidelines involved to complete the procedure.
- Review and test the procedures to ensure accuracy.
- Test your SOP’s by training employees on them.
- Revisit and review SOPs periodically.
How do you create an SOP?
Process documentation is made easy with Plexie’s collaborative content & project management platform. Plexie offers a variety of free built-in SOP templates for teams and businesses. More powerful than simple document templates, Plexie provides work instruction templates in a collaborative workspace enabling individuals to work together in their creation.
There are 3 main types of formats when creating an SOP – step-by-step, hierarchical, and flowchart. In most cases a detailed step-by-step format is the most efficient.
1. Start with the end in mind.
Title your SOP and add the topic the procedure pertains to.
Optional: Include a unique identification number, the date it was created, the date to revisit, and the department or title of the document’s overseer.
2. Objectives, Policies, & Procedures
Provide a brief summary, objective of the procedure being documented.
List the steps and any guidelines involved to complete the task.
2. Manage your procedures!
Manage your procedures by frequently reviewing and revisiting them. Ask for feedback and input from all managers and employees involved in the SOP.
Plexie offers Smart Tables, a project management table that’s optimal for managing and keeping track of your standard operating procedures.
Create a Standard Operating Procedure for your business
Sign up for Plexie free today – manage content, projects and collaborate with your team. Signing up for free allows your team to get started with built-in templates, but the PRO plan gives users access to premium templates, commenting and review features, and other notable highlights.
Easily create Standard Operating Procedures using one of Plexie’s built-in SOP templates today. Sign up for free now.