Business

29+ Free Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Templates [Word]

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) template is used to make standard operating procedures that people should follow to execute a routine operation. With the help of SOP, you can accomplish a certain task effectively. However, creating SOP is time and effort-consuming.

When do you require an SOP?

SOPs are basically set of guidelines that demonstrate how a certain routine activity should get executed. Employees should follow these guidelines the same way each time. It is important for the company in order to maintain consistency. Moreover, every department has its own SOP’s format to follow. The most important reason for having them in the company in terms of;

  • Production or operations
  • Customer service and Sales
  • Employee training
  • Financial
  • Legal

During creating SOP, you have to ensure that the contents are easily understood and not a challenge to read. Also, keep it concise and the steps you have to follow must be very clear. You should also let the employees know about safety concerns.

The significance of an SOP:

Here is the importance of an SOP;

  • Without an SOP, you can complete task in different ways and with varying results. An SOP outlines entire process so that you can do more tasks. Hence, this saves you time.
  • It doesn’t matter who is assigned to work on the job, an SOP makes sure that the business processes will get completed in the proper way.
  • With SOP’s, while working on a specific task, there will be no guesswork. Employees should follow a set of guidelines. This makes their job easier and more efficient. There is no need to ask their employers what they should do when faced with certain situations.
  • It is very difficult to assess the performance of the employees if there are no any standard procedures. Evaluation can become just a matter of opinion without SOP.
  • By having SOP’s, all employees will do the same task in the same ways. This makes the system efficient. Furthermore, SOP’s makes sure that the employees would do their jobs in a convenient and organized manner.

How to create your own SOP template?

Let us discuss step-by-step on how to create your own SOP template;

  • At first, you have to decide on how to present your SOPs in a way you want to describe. In order to work on a step-by-step guide, you should include snapshots. In this way, your employees can easily understand them.
  • You should make a team that will help you in creating the SOP. This is because you may not be the only individual in charge of doing the procedures. So, it is suggested to you to make a team that assists you in delineating the process.
  • Keep a specific audience in mind while trying to come up with your SOP. To accommodate the needs of the people who are involved, it is logical to make adjustments to the SOP.
  • You can now develop a scope after collecting all the required data for your template. You should map out the procedures from the beginning to its end.
  • In this step, you have to include the following essential details;
  1. Title page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Purpose
  4. Terminology and Definitions
  5. Applicability
  6. Scope
  7. Procedures and Methodology
  8. Quality assurance
  9. Tools
  10. Warnings
  11. References
  • Next, do a review of everything you have written so far.
  • Most importantly, use a consistent format and style that are easy to understand and consistent.
  • Include notation for control documents that showcase a code that employees can use to reference your reference system database.
  • In the end, before applying the SOP to a real work scenario, you should first test the SOP. Then, review the document once again.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, a SOP template is a helpful document that should contain guidelines that tell the reader how to correctly do a specific business activity. SOP’s should be easy-to-read and demonstrate the details of the processes to perform.