Standard Operating Process
A SOP - Standard Operating Process or Standard Operating Procedure is a documented way of doing something.
It is as simple as that.
Documented means, written, recorded, illustrated, anything. Anything that someone who needs to do that task or a set of tasks can refer to, to know how to do something.
It also includes things like
- what to do
- when to do it
- who is to do it
- where it is to be done
- who is authorized to do it
- what are the standards to measure it with i.e. how to do we know it is done right
- what tools are to be used (tools/resources)
Is a Quality Tool
Quality is a measure of measurement.
You have to measure something to ensure that it is of quality.
SOPs - Standard Operating Processes are a tool to ensure the quality of your product / service is documented and can be repeated again and again
Helps Counter Attrition & is a Training Tool
In any business there is something called attrition. SOPs make sure that when your staff move, the quality of your product / service is not affected.
Helps Remove Guess Work
An SOP takes the guess work out of the system.
You make it easier for your team/people/staff to perform.
Lets take a simple example - making a business report at the end of the day. Some questions the SOP should answer
- what should the report include?
- who should make it?
- by what time should it be ready?
- who is to check it?
- who is to receive the report?
- what is to be done is the report is inaccurate?
- how to check the report is accurate etc.
Once you make an SOP you create a process flow.
this process flow in many cases will eliminate and highlight wastage or inefficiencies in the system. This is a very powerful feature of an SOP.
It takes time to create on in the start but the benefits in the improvement are tangible.