Document How Things Get Done.
Finally. Get those repetitive tasks out of your head and documented, so you’re not stuck doing everything yourself, forever.
Whether you manage a team or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess gives you the systemization you need to scale and grow your business.
A Standard Operating Procedure, or SOP, is a set of written instructions that document a routine or repetitive activity followed by an organisation. We’re very familiar with SOPs and their importance here at Clarity and in this latest post, we’re going to explain a little more about how they’re essential to your Lean programme and how SOPs can be made even more effective when combined with engaging visual management.
The Importance of a Standard Operating Procedure
Standard Operating Procedures are more often than not used to define business processes. However, they can be used for virtually anything requiring instructions needing to be exactly followed. Creating and implementing SOPs supports a strong, positive quality system by detailing how to perform a job or function correctly in order to ensure consistency in the quality and integrity of a product or service.
SOPs may be written in the form of instructions, worksheets or guidelines and it’s considered the best practice to ensure that they are as formalised as possible.
The development and use of SOPs minimise variation and promote quality through the consistent implementation of a process or procedure within the organisation, even if there are temporary or permanent personnel changes. SOPs minimise variations and promote a consistent, high-quality product or service. They reduce the chance of miscommunication and safety concerns. SOPs can be used as “look-back” documents when reconstructing past activities when no other references are available – all this makes Standard Operating Procedure’s an absolutely essential tool within any organisation.
Finally, SOPs are frequently used as checklists by inspectors when auditing procedures.
The Benefits of an SOP
The primary benefit of an SOP is to document the important steps within an organisation that need to be followed exactly. That said, there are some secondary benefits, outside of this primary goal, that SOPs can deliver for an organisation; these include:
- Reduced work effort
- Reduced training time for new employees
- Improved comparability
- Standardised processes
- Legal defensibility
- Assistance in task delegation & easier task handovers
- Ensured business continuity
- Less waste
- Greater added value for your customers