SOP Full Form: SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure; it’s a set of certain instructions given by the industry to fulfill a particular task. It contains a set of rules with step by step system that should be followed to complete a certain task successfully. SOP’s are very important documents and are not just ordinary set of systems. To make sure that the company stay consistent and in accordance to the industry rules and the standards of the trading system, SOPs must be followed exactly the way they are, without any deviation from the system written in the SOP documents.
Any document which has the “how-to” remark belongs to this type of documents. The rules, the methods, the systems needed to run the business or company in the successful way are given by the standard Operating Procedure. They can make a company do better by decreasing mistakes, increasing capacities and financial gain, making the work environment safe and secure, and developing rules and regulations for resolving conflicts and tackling problems.
A perfectly written Standard Operating Procedure states the process of completing a task elaboratly. For example you want to return a package which you bought and you contact the respective store. The store will take the package back only according to the policies described in the SOP.
An SOP should be reviewed and revised in every six to twelve months, in case any new changes need to be done, because the rules and regulations described in the SOP should always serve in favour of the company, it’s goal is to fulfill all the needs of the company and help in overall success.
What is the need of SOPs?
Alot of companies think that having SOPs is irrelevant. But the SOPs are very important, they are equally important as the provisions and regulations given to the doctor before operating a surgery on a patient. Here are the reasons why SOPs are must;
- They are congruent and give a unified platform no matter which field the company belongs to or what type of tasks are performed in the company.
- These documents also help in the better communication and make the job of HR department much simpler. A document, in which the rules are drafted in a systematic manner, helps them a lot in understanding the functioning of the company.
- It is important to identify the performance of the worker in the company, if you are using SOPs. It also helps in avoiding the workplace partiality.
- All the works will be done at much quicker rate if the SOPs are followed. It saves time and funds of the organization.
- SOPs create a much safer and secure workplace and employees perform their duties care freely and effectively when SOPs are placed.
How a SOP is written?
You must be thinking that how to write a suitable SOP. Here’s the step by step method to formulate an effective SOP:
First Step: Ask the bosses, employers, managers etc to list down the tasks or routine activities done by the employees.
Second step: This is the most important step of all, because here you plan the whole system. A workflow diagram can be designed, to get the better pictorial representation of the tasks and create a template. You also need to decide whether the SOP should be posted online or only will be accessible offline.
Third step: It is time to show the employees the templates you made related to Standard Operating Procedure, because the employees should be made aware about the system before bringing it to their daily routine.
Fourth Step: After showing the templates to the employees and obtaining their feedbacks, add some notes to them. Then show it to the managers, get their feedback as well and revise the whole process completely. This step will decide who will be responsible for executing the SOP you created.
Fifth Step: Draft the whole process in the SOP and edit it whenever you feel necessary. Although creating a good Standard Operating Procedure takes a lot of time but once it’s done and executed, it will help reduce a lot of time and also resolve in many problems.
Sixth Step: In this step, your task is to gather your team and tell them to review the SOP before its final documentation. It’s not recommended to descend your team in the SOP; it’s not a good practice at all. You can also pull your employees in to the SOP in this step, according to their convenience. Through this method, your Standard Operating Procedure will be more welcomed by your employees.
These are the main questions should be taken in consideration while writing a Standard Operating Procedure:
- Which role is played by whom?
- Who is in need of the particular role?
- What is the necessity or result of the role played by each individual?
- Is everything that need to be done have been properly explained in the Standard Operating Procedure systematically?
Question 1. What’s the SOP manual?
Answer. Standard Operating Procedure manual consists of a set of rules and regulations drafted in the document about the important routine activities of the company. The SOP. manual gathers all SOPs at a single place.
Question 2. What purpose does the SOP serve?
Answer. Standard Operating Procedure is very helpful in making the functioning of an organization much easier, as it is very feasible for the employees to work by following the policies stated in SOP.
Question 3. Who creates the SOP in an organization?
Answer. Normally SOP is created by the HR team, and finalized by managers and employers.
Question 4. What are the benefits of SOP?
Answer. Here are some benefits,
- To achieve steadiness
- Helps improve the quality
- Saves funds and time
- Makes the employee management easier
- Helps in better transfer of knowledge to employees
- Make audits easier
- Enhances self reliance
Question 5. What are the disadvantages of SOP?
Answer. Here are the few disadvantages of SOP:
- Promotes lack of creativity in the work field
- Need to be updated regularly, which is a tiring process.
- So many compromises