Standard operating procedures (SOP) templates are used in various organizations in order to follow a strict set of steps to perform certain activities. Basically, these are the set of rules that helps you to handle certain situations. In addition, standard operating procedure templates assist you in creating this set of rules in a more organized manner.
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What are SOPs?
SOPs refers to a document that contains a specified set of rules to perform a certain activity, created by an organization or a company. It highlights directions and instructions on how things need to be done when completing a certain activity. Moreover, it explains in-depth what should be done for a certain activity to be completed as planned. The main purpose of creating SOPs is to ensure seamless and effective operation. You may also like Employee Emergency Contact Forms.
Benefits of SOPs:
Some of the benefits of SOPs are;
- They help in many workplaces for receiving certain outcomes.
- They act as the reference for the employees who require to follow a specific set of procedures. Even the best employees can forget important things but with the help of SOPs, they can follow the right procedure.
- Furthermore, they are also helpful for new or trained employees. They provide specific instructions and act as an easily available reference source.
- Also, they assist the companies or organizations by guaranteeing them that consistency and a certain quality of certain products or services are maintained.
How to make a standard operating procedure template in MS Word?
SOP templates help you to standardize your procedure and make you able to answer some common SOP questions quickly. With the help of these templates, there is no need to worry about margins, fonts, outlining, etc. In addition, you can use any format that you want. Let us discuss how to create these templates in MS Word;
- At first, open a new file in MS Word and give the file a common name.
- With an SOP Control Block, you have to start your SOP format.
- The SOP Control Block is basically a simple table like 3 by 4 table. It is used to control particular information that is needed to configure management and compliance standards.
- Next, move towards the header and the footer. The header i.e. at the top usually contains the name of your company. While the footer is at the bottom contains the name of your procedure as well as the page number.
- After that, write down the procedure elements such as the policy, the purpose, the scope, effective criteria, references, revisions, etc.
- In the end, give your document a final touch on the styles and fonts you want to use. Also, work on the margins and include bolding or special treatment that you want to apply.
Steps to writing a Standard Operating Procedure:
Let us discuss step-by-step how to write a standard operating procedure template;
Firstly, define your goals. Take an initiative by thinking about what you wish to achieve by the SOPs. Determine what procedure will complete in the end. This step helps you to identify either the process needs SOPs or not. If you know what you want to achieve at the end then you can write a detailed standard operating procedure.
After knowing about the goal, select the format that best suits your company or organization. The most general formats are simple step format, hierarchical steps format, and flowchart format.
- The first format i.e. simple step format, as its name implies it is the short and easiest o follow. It contains either bullets or numbers. Moreover, it has short and simple sentences that are easy to understand and follow.
- Just like simple step format this format also contains bullets or numbers but it has a set of certain ranked subsets.
- A flowchart format utilizes a map with a possible outcome. Thus, it is ideal for activities that are unpredictable. However, you can also use different templates for easier guidance and illustrations.
Next, include the relevant teams together. Your team members may include management, employees, and other people that you want to stick to the SOPs. If you want that your SOPs make sense for your team then include them in its formulation.
Now, it’s time to write and review the SOPs. For writing, include the relevant stakeholders and select the right format. You must include the following things in your document;
- The title page: The title page of your SOPs must contain the brief introduction, document unique identification number, the date, and people details involve in drafting. You can also include the table of contents because it helps the users in finding the information with ease.
- Introductory information: In this section, give a brief introduction of key elements such as the purpose of SOPs, the responsibilities of each team member, the resources, and the materials that are required in the process. In addition, also discuss the safety measures that should be taken during the procedure.
- Methodology and procedures: During completing a task which operational procedures and methodologies are followed should be mentioned here.
- Performance assessment: Having a performance assessment is important if you want to confirm that wither the procedures set to meet the required standards or not. The team should determine which area needs improvement so that they can operate best in that particular area.
In the end, after writing the SOPs in detail, give them to your team members to review it. The document accuracy, extensiveness, and cohesiveness should be checked. After the approval, make it accessible for anyone who requires it to perform their particular task. Furthermore, the SOPs must be updated and maintained once a year. You should also check Policy Brief Template.
In conclusion, a standard operating procedure is a defined set of instructions that allow an organization or a company to systemize its processes. Also, with the help of standard operating procedure templates, you can come up with your SOPs more conveniently.