How To Create SOPs for Business Process Documentation Using Scribe
Have you ever wondered how laboratories never (well, almost) mix up your test results? They collect hundreds of samples every day. Technicians test them and upload results manually. So, how do they avoid errors?
They strictly adhere to their processes.
Not just for labs, failure to follow processes can be detrimental to any business. It’ll lead to a decline in productivity, inconsistent performance and even regulatory issues.
So, how do you ensure your business doesn’t face these problems?
Creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your business processes will help you overcome these issues. SOPs ensure every employee in your organization follows the same procedure to achieve a specific task.
Let’s see what SOPs are and how to use Scribe to simplify creating an SOP.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Defining standard operating procedures
- Major business pain points SOPs will solve
- How Scribe makes it easy to build SOPs
- Example of SOPs created with Scribe
- Final Thoughts: how to create an SOP for your business processes with Scribe
Defining standard operating procedures
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a list of specific steps to perform a task. Each step in an SOP describes which rules to follow and things to avoid. Businesses often document SOPs using a standard template. SOPs help you improve quality and productivity while adhering to regulatory requirements.
Every type of business uses standard procedures for its daily operations. SOPs could be work instructions or process methodology. For example:
- The process of handling customer issues.
- Inventory management process.
- New hire onboarding procedure.
- Procedure to handle customer data.
Creating an SOP is simple, but that’s only step one. You must ensure your employees actually adhere to them. Effective SOPs can help you address your business’s most critical pain points and develop a well-oiled machine.
Major business pain points SOPs will solve
SOPs aren't just a set of instructions on how to do a task. Sticking to SOPs will help you solve many issues, including:
According to Gallup analytics, a new employee typically takes 12 months to reach their peak potential. Imagine how frustrating it would be for a new employee to go around looking for information. It may result in long ramp-up times and employee turnover.
Effective Onboarding SOPs can make onboarding faster and better. When your team knows the exact steps to follow when a new person joins, it makes everyone's life easier.
For instance, your human resources team can use SOPs to smooth out the entire hiring process.
Lack of productivity
According to a SellingSimplified survey, more than 60 percent of employees found it hard to get the information they needed at work. They wasted time figuring out how to do simple things, affecting their productivity and morale.
It's even worse when only a few teams (or people) have the know-how about specific processes. How many processes are living in someone’s head right now?
SOPs help you distill the organization’s knowledge into quick step-by-step instructions to help your team save time and boost productivity.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Every employee and operation has a crucial role in the success of your business. But employees are unique, so they may not be equally good at every task.
That may create inconsistencies in how they carry out operations. However, when all your employees stick to the SOPs, they’ll use the same processes to perform tasks. SOPs will help reduce error margins and streamline operations, leading to more consistent results.
Not adhering to regulations could create issues for any business. For example, failure to protect customer information could lead to data compliance issues. It can affect a brand's reputation and cost millions of dollars in lawsuits.
Creating standard operating procedure documents will help you build procedures that ensure compliance with regulations in your business domain.
Loss of organizational know-how
The SellingSimpled survey we mentioned above found that more than 70 percent of employees feel that when a person leaves an organization, they take unique organizational knowledge with them.
Using SOPs will solve this issue by effectively documenting an employee's knowledge in a standard template.
There’s no doubt that writing SOPs has multiple benefits. However, the reality is different for many companies. Your employees might not be keen on creating and using SOPs due to:
- Lack of time or motivation.
- Complex SOP creation process.
- Lack of awareness about the benefits of SOPs.
To enjoy the benefits of SOPs, you must find a fun and easy way to create them. Scribe will help you do just that.
How Scribe makes it easy to build SOPs
Scribe helps you record business processes and convert them into excellent step-by-step guides. Better yet? Scribe's various features create SOPs just in a few minutes.
Getting started with Scribe is super simple. All you have to do is:
- Go for the free basic plan (yep, we said free) or upgrade to a Pro subscription.
- Download the Scribe browser extension or desktop recorder software.
- Capture your process on a PC or browser and customize it.
Scribe features to support SOP building
Scribe has many features that’ll help you record your process and convert it into easy SOP docs, including:
Browser and desktop recording
Do most of your processes happen on a browser or a PC? Scribe has a browser extension to record online processes and a desktop app for offline recording (it comes with the Pro plan).
Scribe is easy and fun to use. It’ll help your employees overcome the inhibition of creating SOPs. You can capture a workflow using these simple steps:
- Click on the Start Recording button.
- Walk through your business process.
- Click the Stop button.
That’s it. Your SOP is ready!
Wanna see it in action? Here’s a Scribe that demonstrates this process.
Advanced customization options for your SOPs
Scribe offers advanced customization options to make effective SOP documents. You can:
- Use headings to format your SOP into sections.
- Add informative blurbs to every step in your SOP.
- Include tips and alerts to highlight important information.
- Add GIFs to make your SOPs fun.
- Add custom screenshots with annotations (comes with the Pro plan).
After you create an SOP using Scribe, you may move steps around, delete steps or record new steps. You also have options to reuse your SOPs to:
- Copy multiple steps and paste them into another SOP.
- Duplicate a Scribe to create a new SOP.
- Merge steps.
SOPs are helpful only if you can share them across your organization. That’s why advanced sharing options are a must for any SOP software.
Scribe makes it really easy for you to share your SOPs in multiple formats. You can:
- Get a public link to your SOP.
- Embed your SOP in your wiki, confluence or website.
- Export your SOP into PDF, HTML or Markdown (it comes with the Pro plan).
- Embed your SOP in workflow management tools like Zendesk, SharePoint and HubSpot.
Scribe also helps you decide who has access to your business procedures. Sharing through email and other access control options helps you protect your SOPs.
Scribe Pages to create visual SOP documents
Our latest feature, Pages, will help you take your SOPs to the next level. If you have complex processes, Scribe Pages converts them into visual SOPs.
You can create individual Scribes for each substep in your SOP and embed them into a Page to create an SOP document. You can also embed images, links and videos (we’re looking at you, Loom users) to make your SOPs more interesting.
Scribe Pages is a great feature for creating SOPs related to:
- Asset Management.
- Human resources.
- Code check-ins.
… and so much more.
Example of SOPs created with Scribe
Let’s see a few examples of the SOP documents you can create with Scribe.
Scribe 1: SOP for customer issue management
Addressing customer issues is essential for customer satisfaction. Here’s a simple SOP example for managing customer tickets through Zendesk.
Scribe 2: SOP for asset management
If you have an online business, you’ll have many electronic assets. Proper asset management is crucial to keep track of them. Let’s see a simple asset management SOP created using Scribe.
Final thoughts: How to create an SOP for your business processes with Scribe
An effective SOP program can help you address many pain points in your business. Adherence to SOPs will help you improve various aspects, including:
- Quality control.
- Knowledge sharing.
While SOPs are essential for businesses to operate smoothly, team members may have inhibitions about creating SOPs and using them. Scribe’s features eliminate those hurdles by making SOP creation easy and fun.
Our latest feature, Pages, allows you to capture complex procedures and convert them into effective SOPs with images, videos, text and links. Create a visual SOP document in just a few minutes using Scribe Pages.