An SOP (Standard Of Operation) is a procedure specific to your operation that describes activities necessary to complete a task in accordance with your industry’s regulations or your own standards for running your business.
Any document that shows procedures (how to) in achieving a goal is called an SOP.
An SOP stipulates expected practices in all businesses where Quality standards exist.
SOPs are policies, procedures, and standards you need in the operation, marketing, and administration disciplines to ensure SUCCESS in your business
If any business SMALL, MEDIUM, or BIG must excel, an SOP is needed.
WHY AN SOP IS NEEDED
- It is needed for efficiency and profitability
- Servers as a guide to resolving issues
- For a healthy and safe environment to work
- Reliability and consistency in production and service
- For error limitations
- It protects employers in areas of liability and personnel matters
- Used to resolve conflicts between partners in business
- A first line of defense when a regulatory body comes for an inspection.
Developing an SOP for your business is simply turning every process/procedure into a system and documenting them.
No two business has the same procedure and SOP.
ESSENTIALS OF AN SOP
- Always consider your end-user when writing your SOP. – SOP should be clear and concise, every step and stage spelled out to ease users through a given process, avoid business jargon and ambiguity, and keep SOP simple but thorough.
- Process documentation should be understandable without any proof or evidence as well as be mindful of the language used. For a more complex process, format a flowchart or a diagram. Something that users can digest stage by stage.
- When writing an SOP, clearly state what your system does. How far it stretches? and who it impacts? There is a need to address scope and boundaries where applicable. This way the SOP is not used for the wrong purpose or ignored altogether.
- A functional SOP will tell users where they need to be, and what they need to do, give confidence to the reader, tell where they fit in, and how much of an impact they make on a wider project.
- All SOPs must be signed off on by those impacted and management.
In my capacity as an Administrative Assistant, and from businesses I have worked with, the difference between business A and Business B is their processes. These processes have been systemized and that has increased their production output.
I am sure this little but important ITEM will help your business grow.
Go ahead and prepare an SOP for your business and see the growth you so desire.