Standard Operating Procedures Are Of Benefit To All Businesses

When it comes to running an effective business, having standard operating procedures (SOPs) will help to ensure that everyone in the organisation is working towards the same goals and aims. This will be of benefit in providing a higher level of service to customers, while hopefully enhancing consistency and quality.

Given the benefits of having operating procedures, it is easy to see why so many firms would be keen to have their standard operating procedures. This is where creating a standard operating procedure template can provide the perfect starting point for creating, updating and maintaining your standard operating procedures.

Are SOPs common?

You will find that SOPs are common in a number of industries, including:
  • Manufacturing – Such as the ISO 9000, the AS9100 or the OHSA
  • Health Care – Such as the JCAHO or the ISO 13485
  • Information Technology (IT) – Such as the CoBit, the ISO 200000 or the ITIL
  • Accounting – Such as the IFRS, the GAAP or the Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Human Resources – Such as the FSLA, the EOE, the FMLA or the ADA
While SOPs are crucial for ensuring that businesses practices are maintained, they actually play a strong role in the creation of business procedures and ensuring that they are fit for purpose. A good quality SOP will ensure that a business will help to ensure that the most effective and efficient way of taking action is being undertaken, and if it is not, there should be scope to change the working practice. This is where having a template that can be adapted or amended as your business and working practices evolve will save a considerable amount of time and effort.
When attempting to make improvements in your business, there is a need to ensure you know what you are currently doing, as this means the effectiveness of any changes can be properly measured. This is another strong reason why SOPs are of great benefit to a business.

Standard Operating Procedures Are Fantastic Tools To Aid Learning

When it comes to learning, many experts believe that a PDCA approach is required, and the nature and features of standard operating procedures tie in neatly with SOPs:
  • Plan – Planning out the process and any expectations
  • Do – The collection of data
  • Check – Measure data against expectations
  • Act – Take action based on the findings in the check stage
When standards are in place, there is an opportunity to make progress and to obtain better results from the learning process. This may results in shortening the length of training time required or it may results with respect to the quality of outcome. Implementing this style of structure is a great way to create a better level of working practices in an organisation.
Steps to take in creating a Standard Operating Procedure Template
  • Create your SOP file
  • Define the format of your SOP
  • Include the elements of your SOP
  • Finalise the document
  • Distribute and promote the SOP
Some of the main elements that need to be contained with a Standard Operating Procedure include:
Company Policy
Do you have a standard or mission that your business aims to meet?

Why do you have this document?

This should define what areas of your business are impacted by the SOP

The document should focus on who needs to utilise the SOP and what they should do with it

If there is any company jargon or language that may not be understood by outsiders or inexperienced team members, it should be explained in the SOP
The Procedures
Sometimes some businesses are so focused on the style; layout and responsibilities of a SOP that they forget to include the procedures. The procedures should always be made clear

Given that SOPs are updated over time, it is important to inform readers what edition they are using, and when it came into play
Creating and implementing a Standard Operating Procedure and template may sound like a daunting task but it is one that can greatly enhance the running of an organisation.


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Posted: 25/09/2014 15:41:24 by Red Tape Doc Admin with 0 comments


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