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Top 9 Challenges While Writing A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

May 3, 2022
HRMS(Human Resource Management System)

When you hear the word Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), do you get confused?

Do you need a proper description of this term and a valid explanation of how to work on writing it for your project?

Well, here is a guide!

Standard Operating Procedure

In this article, we will understand what is an SOP, its benefits, the challenges incurred during writing one, and how it can be written exquisitely without any errors.

What Is SOP?

An SOP is a process specific to the operation of any project. The full form of SOP is the “standard operating procedure”.

It is a document that describes the activities necessary to complete tasks of a project in accordance with industry regulations, provincial laws, or even just your standards for running the business.

Any document that showcases how to carry out a particular process falls into the category of procedures.

For example, if you see a manufacturing plant, the most obvious example of an SOP is the step-by-step production line that is used to make products as well as train staff.

SOPs are basically policies, procedures, and standards you need in the operations, marketing, and administration of disciplines within your business.

All these steps can create the following for your company!

  • Efficiencies Involved, Therefore Profitability
  • Consistency And Reliability Of Production
  • Fewer Errors In All Areas
  • A Way To Resolve Conflicts Between Partners
  • A Healthy And Safe Environment
  • Protection Of Employers In Areas Of Liability And Personnel Matters
  • A Roadmap For How To Resolve Issues
  • The Removal Of Emotion From Troubleshooting
  • Allowing Needed Focus On Solving The Problem
  • The First Line Of Defense In Any Inspection For A Possible Purchase
  • Value Added To Your Business For Future

Developing an SOP is about organizing all of your processes and documenting them.

Developing an SOP

However, no two businesses will have an identical collection of SOPs. Let’s see the different types of SOP.

A Definitive Guide to Task Management

What are the different types of business SOPs?

The different types of SOP available depend on organizational needs.

different types of business SOPs

1. Step-by-step List

This procedure of preparing such an SOP is by describing all the relevant processes quickly and simply. If the SOPs are made even for a simple task, you’ll have the assurance of working efficiently and effectively with appropriate results.

2. Checklists

One of the simplest ways to write a standard operating procedures document. With the technological advancement and smart devices at hand, you can create it on note-taking apps. 

It can later be documented and given to employees.

3. Hierarchical Lists

Such SOPs are applicable when the business or company needs a detailed note of the process involved. You will create hierarchical or bullet lists to help avoid explaining a simple process in a lengthy way.

4. Process Flowchart

If you’re looking for a visually appealing representation, you need to use flowcharts. They present better context for easier workflow and understanding. It is among the types of SOP that will help your employees get tasks to be divided easily.

Now that we have understood the types of SOPs, let us get to know how these documents can be a great challenge to prepare for an organization in the first place.

What Are The Benefits Of Developing SOPs?

As we have seen the different types of  SOPs, let us see how they can benefit your organization.

Benefits Of Developing SOPs

1. Time Saving

Even though creating SOPs can be time-consuming, they end up saving you a ton of time in the long run when it comes to actual implementation.

If all employees perform the same task in different ways, the results will be different. Some are going to do it faster while others might take a long time.

Having rules and guidelines in place streamlines the workflow, and makes sure it is delivered in a particular set of time.

boom easy as that2. Ensure the safety of employees

Standard operating procedures (SOP) make sure that employees are trying their best to work in a particular manner. It has to be well defined as well.

If everyone is doing a task in their own way, the task can not work. It’s not only inefficient but can also result in adversities.

This puts the business in a tough situation. Thus, to keep your business safe, you can have a set of rules with the help of an SOP!.

3. Makes sure compliance rules are met

Having standard operating procedures in place ensures that industry compliance standards are followed and met properly.

SOPs help you take a step ahead so that employees comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations, and avoid any sort of litigation or risk.

4. Effective and smooth communication

Communication is key in business.

Effective and smooth communication

Standard operating procedures make your manager’s job easier as they don’t have to communicate the policies and procedures to each and every employee individually.

Employees too, don’t have to go back to their managers or coworkers and ask for guidelines. In case they forget the guidelines, employees can quickly go through the SOP document and get to work.

You can use UBS CHAT to have a proper in-office or even remote communication for your employees.

5. Enhanced Accountability of work

Having a guideline of standard operating procedures in place, managers can gauge employee performance based on it.

Without proper work standards, understanding employee performance becomes a matter of personal opinion, which is far from being the right way to judge your employee’s hard work.

6. Maintain company knowledge

SOPs provide consistency in operations and ensure a smooth workflow.

All employees have the same document which they can go through and know exactly what needs to be done. Moreover, your employees will know how to perform the task!

This leads to consistent performance with fewer resources going to waste.

7. Maintains Organizational Knowledge

Employees can share knowledge with their current employees as they are bound to move on to other companies, retire, get promoted, or go on a vacation. These employees can take their knowledge, skill, and expertise with them.

Documenting standard operating procedures allows you to preserve key organizational knowledge for the future.

8. A guiding hand for all employees

Standard operating procedures act as a true compass for the employees, guiding them in their journey to do consistent work.

It acts as a map that employees- new or old- can follow and expect a positive outcome, every single time.

9. Easy onboarding and training

If you have clearly defined standard operating procedure documents in place, it becomes way easier to onboard and train new employees.

As you have a set of guidelines, you can just show it to them and make it work!

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Everything SME Leaders Must Know To Crack Employee Performance Evaluations!

Let’s Conclude!

SOPs are frequently used when hiring and training employees in any organization.

In this article, you will see how an SOP can ensure the orientation and training of every individual remains consistent with their peers’ experiences.

An SOP can also guide managers through routine processes, from discipline and corrective actions to performance reviews and see if the quality is met.

Check out the Ebook below for information on how SOPs can help you with your business process automation and lead you to a great understanding of the organizational structure!

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Alpesh Vaghasiya

Alpesh Vaghasiya

The founder & CEO of Ultimate Business System Pvt. Ltd. (UBS), I'm on a mission to help small and medium-sized companies to grow to the next level of accomplishments. With a distinctive knowledge of authentic strategies and team-leading skills, my mission has always been to grow businesses digitally. The core mission of UBS is Connecting people, Optimizing the process, Enhancing performance.

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