What is an SOP Manual?
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a clear set of instructions written in detail to provide a detailed outline and layout for the person responsible for a particular task.
It is built to increase the efficiency of projects organized by your business towards your employees. An efficient SOP means that your organization will deliver consistent outcomes and make a smooth transition over projects.
Creating an SOP for your business is like creating a recipe that will help the employees follow the steps and expect a consistent result.
Why do you need an SOP manual?
It takes a lot of time and effort to find relevant information about data. Having an SOP manual promotes consistency in work and helps to reduce mistakes in the job. Thus, it benefits your business by saving money.
Performance leading to errors adds no value to a company. Inefficiency by your employee could be heinous for your brand reputation as well. However, if you have an SOP manual, it is equal to having a brand manual.
This will help you with consistency in the performance. As a result, collecting all these benefits will help your business save money and provide you with better results. The SOP cuts down these errors and provides improved work efficiency.
The primary work role of having an SOP is to bring everyone on the same page. Keeping a tab of the action plans allows the employees to be updated about the other and gives a constant update about the tasks.
Without an SOP, it becomes difficult for an employee to create an action plan and move strategically. They try to approach new methods, which are both time-consuming and expensive. But having proper planning will cut these costs out and minimizes the errors.
Helps train or onboard new employees
Training or onboarding new employees take a lot of effort and resources. The expense of training new onboards can be easily cut-off if you have the right strategy and action. This is why an SOP is always helpful for such circumstances.
They help in training by creating the route map for new employees. Following the simple steps and functions could save you a lot of money and effort on this. Corporates are now planning to integrate SOP systems to function better!
Types of SOPs
1. Step by step
A step-by-step SOP is an action plan that makes things go neutral and very straightforward. This format breaks down a procedure into multiple parts, making it a smooth procedure for action planning. This type of plan will allow the organization to provide valuable resources to the employee and save time.
Many corporate offices opt for hierarchical SOP because of the top-down approach. If you have a complex process, this type of SOP will be the ideal thing to look forward to. It helps break down the cycle into simple steps and a clear plan ahead. The Hierarchical SOP covers several processes that include policy, documentation, guidelines, and procedures.
3. Flow charts
The inclusion of a flowchart SOP follows a diagram or a visual map of the things that need to be done. It is designed with arrows to indicate their path and make things look visually more attractive. Having such an SOP will allow your employees to indicate the path and follow the steps that give you the best results. The flowchart also enables you to define a conditional logic which will provide a great result.
How to create an SOP manual in 7 steps?
Step 1- Set your business goals.
Standard operating procedures are more than just a set of rules. You need to come up with the why and how for each procedure. This means you need to have the result in your mind. Gather your team and brainstorm about the problems you need to solve.
Think about these questions:
- Does this method align with the organization's goals?
- How does this SOP connect with your broader goals?
Step 2- Create an SOP blueprint
Before you go on to build anything, you will have to create a blueprint or format for the same. Each SOP included in the manual must follow this format. Choose a structure based on what works best for your organization.
Here are the common sections an SOP includes:
- Document header.
- Process Map.
Step 3- Research and gather materials
Sometimes, you'll need to include visuals for complex procedures, such as pictures, screenshots, or videos.
Having the right set of reference materials can help your employees understand and implement the procedure quickly.
Step 4- Begin with the current process
You need to evaluate the current process and the situations moving forward.
Begin to think about the routine tasks and decisions which will give you a better result. This will help you carry out the business and write the SOP process.
Step 5- Create your first draft
The next thing that you need to do is to create a draft and write the SOP. Make sure that you include everything in detail in this draft as much as possible. It's always better to have all the information rather than nothing.
You need to gather the visuals and then look for quality checks. Remember that creating a draft should reflect the complexity of the steps you need to follow. You can also consider consulting with your employees.
Step 6- Review and share
There will be several errors in this draft. But it is essential to finish this draft and then share it with the subject matter experts for review.
Without reviews, it won't be possible to evaluate the SOP's challenges and what you need to do while planning.
Step 7- Edit and redraft
Once you've received the comments on your first draft, edit it as per the requirements. And remember, your SOP manual should constantly evolve according to changing regulations and processes.
Set a reminder and review it every week or month to ensure the SOP aligns with the requirements and updated regulations.
How to create an SOP Manual with Scribe in 7 simple steps
Scribe is a tool that'll help you speed up the creation process for the SOP manual. You can use it to create your complete manual or take the individual screenshots and add them to your specific software for the SOP manual. Here's a Scribe on how (pretty meta, we know.)
Once done, it will take you to the next page where you can edit the Scribe and add the description as you wish. You can also delete or download those screenshots and add it to your software for SOP manual.
You can either merge a few scribes, add timestamps, and switch the toggle on for team or public comments from the side panel. To share the Scribe click on ‘Share.’ It will generate a pop up and either you can send it to the designated email ids or you can copy the link and send it individually.
Then, all you need to do is click "Done."
Create SOP Manuals for better organization
SOPs are not only designed to improve the performance of your business. But they also help in a smooth transitioning of the workflow. In 2022, having a proper SOP will make this workflow better and much more efficient. This is why it becomes vital for every business house to consider having an SOP.
Scribe helps you to create SOPs quickly and with a better interface. So you can finally bid farewell to the boring documents and embrace the interactive way of creating the SOP Manual. Sign up for Scribe today for free.