The Method of Procedure (MOP) started in the tech field, particularly in data center management and construction.
MOPs were designed as a method for teams to complete tasks in the right order, using the right tools.
The thought process behind MOPs is that too much complexity means there’s a high risk for organizational failure — one that building a more robust and strong infrastructure does not minimize. However, additional mechanisms — such as organizational and operational — can work together to prevent failures caused by human activities.
MOPs were established to ensure that employees worked from strict guidelines to reduce safety risks and human errors.
So... what is the method of procedure?
Method of Procedure (MOP) is defined as a step-by-step sequence of actions/instructions on how to execute a task.
It describes a set of procedures for completing tasks and helps project managers manage complexities in an organization.
Think of it as a recipe to help you complete a business’ mission, cutting down on complexities with step-by-step instructions.
The main purpose of the method of procedure is to achieve the end goal by guiding the actions.
It’s important to note that while every MOP varies based on the company, industry and project, the essential components of any MOP include:
- An intro.
- Version control.
- Approval signature.
Don’t mistake a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for a MOP. They're not the same thing, but they do work together.
While an SOP focuses on how employee should handle the task, the Method of Procedure focuses on what employees need to do.
MOPs can serve as standalone documents or work as part of an SOP — while the SOP can be an overarching document made up of several MOPs that spell out smaller tasks for each step.
Why do organizations need MOPs?
Not only does the method of procedures help roll out new product features, but it also helps you build processes and manage complex data centers.
Other benefits of MOPs include:
- The method of procedure eliminates human errors and inaccurate/complex estimations. Working from a proven and “surefire” script can reduce these risks.
- The MOPs step-by-step process provides streamlined guidance by improving focus.
- Teams can use the method of procedure to create a process for introducing a new product request from the necessary stakeholders. It also makes a consistent standard for adding new initiatives to the product roadmap.
- The method of procedure ensures that teams perform tasks in the right order, tools, steps and precautions.
How can product teams use the method of procedure?
MOPs have major benefits for project management teams:
- It provides a framework for reviewing and prioritizing product requests.
- With a standard process for accepting different product ideas for review, project managers can establish a more consistent way to analyze new ideas.
- It also ensures that all stakeholders across the organization understand that they have to follow certain procedures to have their proposals considered. This ensures that these stakeholders painstakingly vet their ideas and only submit initiatives that would only add value to the business's success.
- It acts as a guide to determine a product release’s requirements and priority.
- It saves time, reduces confusion and achieves better products by ensuring that all stakeholders collaborate effectively.
Components of a method of procedure
The method of procedure can have many different elements, fields and other details depending on its complexity and impact.
This is why most project managers add the “expected results of the action” field in every step. It’s easier to maintain accountability and head in the right direction.
For the MOP to be effective, the team needs to follow it down to a T. That means it needs to be easy to understand and use — no matter who you are.
MOP components include:
- Basic information: This includes the title, description of the procedure, author, approval authority/signature, date, unique identifier and version control.
- Prerequisites: Actions that you need to complete before implementing the procedure (e.g., permit to work, change approval, access approval, issuance of notifications, any required reconfiguration of the infrastructure, etc).
- Step-by-step instructions: You’ll want to outline a detailed description of every step, its inputs and the expected results.
- Safety requirements: Describe the presence of safety representatives, lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures and eventual personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Tools: Be specific about the tools and parts needed to perform the operations.
- A back-out plan: Make sure you can return the system to its initial or safe state.
- Completion: A structure/system that ensures marking every step as completed. For example, a field for appending the project manager’s signature.
- Additional details: Other info that’s specific to your team — like a timestamp to provide a log of events or pictures or diagrams for clarifying certain steps and their outcomes.
Example of a method of procedure
Here’s an example of a technical procedure template that can inspire you (or be tweaked) for your next project.
Method of procedure (MOP) template
Project managers can use the method of procedure template to standardize your MOP. You can also use an MOP template to:
- Measure process outputs.
- Identify performance gaps.
- Develop project improvements.
Scribe top tip: The method of procedure template is important no matter what type of project documentation you want to create (Project Charter, Change Request Management, Project Schedule, Project Business Case, RACI Matrix or Work Breakdown Structure).
Check out this MOP template, that you can duplicate and use for your own processes.
Before you get started on strengthening your own MOP template — remember to gather or develop your project documentation, ask yourself (and your stakeholders) these questions. Think of them as project documentation best practices.
- Goal — What are the goals and aims of this project?
- Reference — Has our team done a project like this before? If yes, were project documents stored for future use?
- Methodology — Is there a standard project methodology that must be followed?
- Technology — What technology, if any, can be used to automate and templatize your project documentation? (Hint: the answer is Scribe!😁)
- Stakeholders — Who are the key resources/stakeholders for this project?
- Cost — How much will the project cost and what is the proposed budget?
- Time — What is the timeline?
- Communication — What communication do we need?
- Quality— How will you ensure the quality of your project outcome?
- Risk — What are the inevitable risks associated with this project and how do you intend to tackle them?
- Training — What training is required to build the necessary skills to complete the project?
How to create project documentation with Scribe
Whether your team needs project documentation or you’ve been experiencing difficulties with creating project documentation, Scribe can help you create your next MOP with a few clicks.
Scribe is a step-by-step guide generator that documents your processes for you. Here’s how you can get started with Scribe.
And once you’ve auto-generated your step-by-step guide, you can edit it to add:
- More steps.
... and more!
Once you’ve created multiple MOPs, you can use Scribe Pages to build a template. Here’s how!
Once you’ve created your documentation, you can easily share or embed your MOPs in any knowledge base!
Method of procedure: templates matter
You need to standardize your process documentation if you want to create an easy, repeatable workflow. MOPs are personal to you and your team, but once you start building your own MOP templates — you'll make specific, helpful documentation, fast.
And don't worry, you don't have to do it all on your own.
Depending on your project’s scope, size and requirements, you can take advantage of simple tools to turn your processes into MOPs.
But that begs the question: “How do you know which project documentation software is worth the investment?”
Luckily, Scribe is here to help. Here are some of the top features that make Scribe your best bet for a method of procedure template and project documentation collaboration:
- Easy to use with no coding required.
- Simple to set up — no training required.
- An AI-powered instant and reliable search system allows you to search for Pages and Scribes easily.
- Intuitive navigation, folders and organization.
- User management and access control feature to aid teamwork and collaboration.
- A huge amount of integrations with the tools you love expands your knowledge base's functionality.
- A single, central platform lets you store all your project documentation assets in one place where team members and other important stakeholders can easily access it — from anywhere.
Ready to get started? Create your next method of procedure template for free!