How To Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

If you want to see your company flourish, discipline and consistency are what you need to bring in If you want to see your company succeed, discipline and consistency are what you need to bring to each workflow. When the companies grow over time, managing operations become more complex, which can make you compromise on the quality of the services. That is when SOPs come in! The benefits of Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) are endless. The importance of standard operating procedures cannot be denied!

We agree with what MaintainX has to say about SOPs, “Whether attempting to sell the world’s tangiest loaves of sourdough bread or recycle 5K tons of non-ferrous metals every day, standard operating procedures (SOP) help busy teams consistently meet consumer demand and company standards with minimal errors.”

How To Make Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – Top 7 Tips

Where SOP improves collaboration and efficiency, it also needs a lot of time and your attention to investigate every crucial business process and pen the protocols down. Well, it doesn’t mean you can present a poorly written SOP. Considered the pivotal point in business growth, SOPs accuracy is demanded. But, how can you develop the standard operating procedures that will not only engage the employee but clearly explain their responsibilities? What are the pain points of effective SOPs?!

1.  Understand What You Want This SOP To Accomplish

Why exactly are you creating Standard Operating Procedures? Without determining your goals for developing SOP, you cannot even start writing an outline. You must have the vision, the aim, and a clear-cut answer to WHY and it should be knowledge-based. Be aware of how SOP executions will bring out the positive side of your company. Don’t make your SOP documents text-heavy and boring.

To better define the reason, highlight hurdles and complications found in existing processes. Having a solid basis for SOP helps in outlining the necessary activities for a better understanding of the reader. The best approach is to keep the end in mind and start writing each aspect crucial for fulfilling SOP’s objective.

Be sure to ask yourself:

  • How will SOP help your company work more efficiently?
  • Will it promote teamwork and better alliance?
  • Is SOP written to make the company more compliant with industry standards?
  • Are you creating an SOP for employees to follow guidelines for improved productivity?
  • Is it designed to serve clientele most professionally?
  • Does your SOP assist in developing absolute best practices?
  • Are you writing your SOP as a guide or for highlighting essential steps of procedures?

What will be the purpose of standard operating procedures if the end-user fails to understand its real meaning and cannot follow guidelines? For achieving positive results, you must mention the main objective of SOPs at the top of the document. It will not only explain to your teams why following the SOP matters but also double the engagement levels.

2.  List of Processes

Once you have explained WHY now move on to WHICH. By which, we mean which processes must be mentioned in SOPs or for what processes you will be creating a step-by-step guide. It is necessary to develop a list of processes for creating Company operations procedures and standards as it will assist in either combining multiple guidelines or splitting one into different SOPs. The managers better have a detailed discussion session with their teams and then forward the list to the management team for the final review and identifying redundancies.

While enlisting the processes, make sure to include only the ones that need standardization and the procedures foreseeing a change.

3.  Write End-User Focused SOPs

Most importantly, the SOPs must be written from the audience’s perspective. You should understand your staff and gather knowledge about their professional experience, language skills, traits, etc., for a clearer picture of how you can relate your SOP to the reader. EVERYTHING must be suitable for the end-user! It must be impactful for your audience. A few tips include:

  • Use easy-to-understand, consistent language.
  • Don’t make it overwhelmingly detailed.
  • Always add a glossary section.
  • Use active voice.
  • Be consistent in formatting.
  • Stay laser-focused on the tangible responsibilities of the end-user.
  • Never miss out on adding eye-catchy visuals, such as flowcharts, screenshots, diagrams, and videos.
  • Do not use unacquainted abbreviations or terminologies.
  • Use “must” for mandatory instructions.

Always put yourself in the employees’ shoes and decide which processes need to be mentioned to achieve overarching business goals rather than over-explaining.

standard operating procedure

4.  Use SOPs For Minimizing Waste

Taiichi Ohno idealizes SOPs as a source of reducing particular types of operational waste for well-organized and competent resource usage. For example:

  • Under-utilization of Skills is one of the biggest wastes that can be minimized with SOPs by addressing inefficient hiring processes, lack of communication, and wasteful administrative duties.
  • Overproduction is considered an operational waste. With good SOPs, you can acknowledge erroneous market forecasts, bizarre customer needs, and unproductive use of automation.
  • Highlighting recurrent reasons behind troubleshooting along with responsible consulting staff can fill the gaps and eliminate the risks of defects in organizational procedures. Another waste was removed!
  • One of the most common wastes is waiting time. Through SOPs, you can identify possible delays, noticeable lop-sided workloads, and unacceptable employee absent-mindedness.

While writing the Standard Operating Procedure document, every skilled manager must be conscious and proactively look for ways to get rid of the common types of waste with world-class solutions.

5.  Implementation of Electronic Data Management System

For easy management and automation of SOPs, it is advised to use user-friendly standard operating procedure software. Electronic Data Management System or Computerized Maintenance Management System software not only systematizes SOP development but offers wide-ranging convenient, smart features to:

  • Develop SOPs without errors.
  • Edit multiple SOPs from remote locations offline.
  • Track changes.
  • Download files easily.
  • Save SOP templates for better customization.
  • Create SOP or assign tasks even on smartphones.
  • Monitor improvements.
  • Ensure regulatory compliance.

Digitizing documents declutters your file mess, causing disorganization in your cabinets. It makes the standard operating procedure checklist scannable, measurable, and actionable.

6.  Choose The Right SOP Format

Do you want to produce consistent results? Are you looking for ways to explain company processes unmistakably and briefly?

Pick the most straightforward format that adheres to the international standard ISO 9000 or something similar, lets you produce a precise list, and gives enough space to include necessary explanations. You can find a variety of formats to follow, but the most commonly used structures include:

Simple Step-By-Step List:

  • Presented in a bulleted list.
  • Written in short sentences.
  • Best-suited to explain routinely workflows that need to be followed in a specific order.
  • Suitable for developing safety guidelines.

Hierarchical Steps:

  • Best-suited for complex procedures comprising a lot of steps.
  • Based on primary & secondary checkboxes.
  • Provides extra space to present additional information.


  • Best-suited for penning down detailed processes that can give not one but several possible outcomes.
  • Helps explain the actions that must be taken in unpredictable scenarios.
  • Makes SOP easy to read and comprehend visually.
  • Provide better insights with standard operating procedure flow chart template.

With the proper standard operating procedure format, you will save yourself from creating unappealing, clumsy, and drudgery SOPs.

7.  User-Friendly Template

Different tasks demand different Standard operating procedure templates to share the essence of a valuable message but ensure to follow consistency to make all of your SOPs appear the same way!

For organizing procedural documentation, pick the template that best conveys the information about task completion, as it will save time and energy. As Monitrium explained, “Pre-made SOP templates that are based on industry standards provide organizations with a solid foundation for SOP creation, speeding up the time to developing documentation.”

Most essential elements of the standard operating procedure manual template include:

  • Title
  • Scope
  • Overview
  • Necessary Tools
  • Procedural Steps
  • Attached Manuals
  • Target department
  • Accountability Measures

Always use industry-vetted templates to have an excellent starting point for SOPs and keep the battles of unnecessary formatting at bay. Use at least two templates to escape the last-moment problems in the final review.

Minimize Variability & Maximize Quality With Well-Written SOPs

Profits Plus Accountants are always ready to provide top-tier counseling services and offer complete guidance in writing company standard operating procedures for making task delegation convenient. Our experienced team assists in establishing best industrial practices and law-compliant policies while meeting your monitoring purposes.

With our SOPs, you will become stress-free about completing workflows on time. We ensure a unique client experience.

What Are The Benefits Of Standard Operating Procedures? | Top 8 Advantages Of SOPs

Top 8 Advantages Of SOPs

No matter the size of your company or number of employees, creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is a must-have for fostering better employee autonomy and achieving consistency in employee performance. With professionally documented SOPs, you can achieve the desired output in terms of staying organized, delivering effective training, simplifying recruitment procedures, and operating smoothly by following specific work policies.

For those who don’t know what is SOP? These are step by step instructions that must be numbered or better presented in flow diagrams to act as leading guidelines for existing and new employees.

To introduce the culture of reliability, independence, safety, and quality control, develop SOPs for your company!

8 Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

We are aware that making SOPs demands time and effort, but it is definitely worth it. They help you in the longer run. Let’s see some of the best advantages of SOPs.

  1. Reduced Employee Training Time and Cost

Always keep your training-related SOPs ready because presenting detailed guidelines in written form will not only leave a positive impact on new employees but also standardize orientation, regulate training, make them more productive, and let each employee learn the same information in the same amount of time without wasting resources. You can save big on training costs with SOP, as well.

During training, company standard operating procedures will provide them with a chance to settle in quickly and understand important facts about the company. These instructions make it easier for new hiring to comprehend how their duties need to be done while taking the pressure off of your shoulders of spending long hours training your new team.

On the one hand, Human resources standard operating procedures will surely not be used as a substitute for training. On the other hand, documented components can be best used as reference guides giving spare time to the supervisors to judge their abilities.

With a well-oriented standard operating procedure training file, you can expect your new recruits to complete assigned tasks efficiently without repeating important details again and again. You only need to hand them your SOPs to study while training completion!

  1. Enhance Autonomy 

SOPs give a sense of autonomy to the employees. As they will have the guidelines in hand already, they won’t be running back and forth to their managers to seek permission to make profitable decisions. They get freedom from asking for “reassurance” all the time and “excessive reliance” on supervisors.

Companies that make SOP checklists are better at cultivating self-confidence!

  1. Straightforward Audits 

If your SOPs provide a clear image of all the auditing procedures, regulatory policies, and practical procedures, the company can successfully conduct a strategic internal audit to remove inefficiencies and improve the company’s workflow. Moreover, it will also highlight the areas that need utmost development.

Having technical SOPs and management SOPs will provide the guiding principle necessary to steer the accountants and managers in the right direction.

  1. Safe Yourself from Knowledge Loss

Having computerized or printed SOPs accessible to everyone and securely kept either on data-encrypted servers or in the cloud will prevent your company from experiencing a loss of knowledge.

The knowledge exits from the same gate your key employee or manager exits because generally, the essential details are only saved in THAT worker’s head instead of in manuals. It can severely put your central business processes at risk. To make sure that your organizational knowledge stays and is resourcefully transferred to the substitutes, document each & every essential instruction. You better save them on editable standard operating procedure software to avoid surprises.

Comprehensive, well-written SOPs are the key to running valuable business smoothly despite new hiring!

well-written SOPs

  1. Improved Employee Management

A perfectly detailed SOP improves staff management and eliminates any kind of uncertainty to minimize the occurrence of avoidable blunders in the first place. You can use SOPs as a fundamental tool to not only evaluate the employee’s performance but also to bring areas of improvement to their notice. When you provide SOP, you give your team the competence, dependability, and predictability they must be looking forward to succeeding.

Monitor and boost your team’s performance with the help of SOPs!

  1. Save Company’s Resources

One of the most significant advantages of using SOPs relies on their cost-effectiveness. It optimizes costs by reducing certain types of waste, including:

  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Not utilizing talent
  • Transportation
  • Inventory excess
  • Motion waste
  • Excess processing

If you present the instructions to the employee regarding his task, there are lesser chances for him to do it unfairly, wasting effort or resources on needless processes.

  1. Performance Enhancement 

Why SOP is important?

With the help of SOPs, workers will be able to grasp the nature of their duties and fulfil them responsibly, showing consistency in task completion as they will be already aware of the expected results through provided guidelines. Step by step instructions helps to meet quality standards and get rid of delivering subpar results.

Developing standard operating procedures enhances productivity by eliminating the guesswork from day-to-day operations by ensuring that each employee understands the methods, rules, and events associated with their professions.

  1. Guaranteed Employee Safety 

How can you make new talents work for your company? By offering the maximum care because employee safety is an undeniably important factor, regardless of the nature of your business.

First, you can promise that you will be offering a safe workplace by providing them SOPs mentioning all the clauses per the standards. Second, when employees are familiar with the company operations procedures and standards that must be followed inside the office, the environment becomes safe and secure because SOPs will make your workforce stay compliant with the company as well as government mandates to avoid hefty fines.

Minimize Variability & Maximize Quality with Profits Plus

SOPs are the cutting-edge business practice to reduce workflow chaos and ambiguity!

It is time to pay extra attention to writing an SOP, but if you are drowning under work pressure, let Profits Plus help you develop or update your existing SOPs. We counsel the best in creating a comprehensive, step by step, the ultimate guide for employees.

You can avail strategic and competitive benefits from our well-documented SOPs. We suggest policies while keeping the purpose of standard operating procedures in mind.