What is SOP / Standard Operating Procedure

What is SOP / Standard Operating Procedure

What is SOPs?

 - Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) help your employees do their jobs in the best way possible.

 - SOPs contain job instructions that explain in detail how to perform a certain work or series of tasks properly. 

 - Using SOPs, you know exactly which steps to take to achieve a given outcome. They also eliminate any doubt, uncertainty, or debate about a process, making them an ideal way to quickly and easily onboard new employee and make processes uniform.

Are SOPs effective for all businesses?

 - SOPs are widely used within sectors where repeatability and controllability play important roles, for example in the manufacturing industries and pharmaceutical industries.


 - Examples of SOPs in use on a daily basis include:

1. Conditions relating to ISO/IATF standards

2. Rules & regulations for different trials

3. Pre-takeoff checklists for pilots

The benefits of SOPs

Using SOPs has many benefits for a wide range of organizations:

1. Standardizing training programs 

 - Written instructions ensure everyone’s on the same page and allow you to onboard new staff more quickly.

2. Creating a brand identity & company DNA

 - Style guides make it clear how to use your company’s colors, logos, and typefaces in graphical layouts and how to communicate in your brand’s tone of voice in all its written publications.

3. Reducing the number of errors

 - Clear, concise guidelines explain how to prepare and perform tasks or processes.

4. Complying with legislation

 - Clearly defined safety requirements and quality standards make it easier to comply with rules and regulations.

5. Providing transparency

 - With a well-defined management structure, everyone knows who’s responsible for which processes and who’s authorized to approve completion of each stage.

6. Delegating tasks

 - Clear job descriptions help temporary or permanent replacements learn what’s expected of them with minimal assistance from the person who’s fallen ill or about to retire.

Step of SOPs

But where should you start with SOPs? And what’s the best way to put them into practice?
Follow the steps below to get started!

Step 1 – Prioritize your SOPs

 - Chances are you won’t have the time or resources to create and update dozens, if not hundreds of SOPs in one go. This is the reason why it’s a good idea to set your priorities. For example, it’s often advisable to focus on one or more of the following issues:

1. QHSE – to make sure your staff comply with company and statutory quality-, health-, safety- and environment-related rules, regulations, and standards

2. Production line operation – to make sure your production lines run smoothly and efficiently, make it easier for operators to resolve problems, and to streamline multiple production lines running in parallel

3. Instruction & training – to help individuals, teams, and departments perform at a higher level

Step 2 – Create your SOPs

 - Once you’ve prioritized matters, it’s time to start creating the actual SOPs. Start by setting up an SOP design team made up of the relevant members, this would be a mix of operators, maintenance technicians, and process engineers. And if you’re not familiar with TWI (Training within Industry) principles, then these can provide you with a solid basis upon which to build clear, concise training instructions. 

 - Make sure that information and training sessions are clear, concise, and, above all, compact – think. Most people can digest visuals faster than they can text.

Step 3 – Publish & promote your SOPs

 - It’s vital that your staff get to grips with the SOPs you’ve created. It really helps if you make them as accessible as possible, using clearly laid-out dashboards or portals. 

 - Highlight their importance and discuss the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind the SOPs during work meetings.

Step 4 – Train & test your staff

 - Next, it’s time to determine whether your staff are actually using and following the SOPs on a consistent basis. Completing a training course doesn’t automatically mean your staff are following your SOPs to do their work. 

One of the best ways to instill this within your workforce is to use the ‘Tell me! Show me! Let me try!’ method: 

1. Explain each of the steps you need to follow to successfully complete a task or procedure

2. Demonstrate each of the steps

3. Have your staff perform each of the steps themselves

The ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ underlying the SOPs then become much clearer. This method also highlights any points that need improvement.

Step 5 – Implement & maintain your SOPs

 - Introducing SOPs and training your staff in their use is just the beginning. Naturally, you’ll want to check whether the SOPs are being used and proving effective.

 - Make them part of your organizational routine and inquire regularly during your rounds on the shop floor whether employees are getting to grips okay with the SOPs. Are the SOPs being used on a daily basis? Do employee deviate from them every so often? If yes then, why? Are they having difficulties with specific bits of the SOPs? Do they have any suggestions for improvements?

Welcome these suggestions, process them, and then fine-tune your SOPs.

What is SOP / Standard Operating Procedure

Types of SOPs  

1. Fundamental SOP

2. Safety SOP

3. Methodic SOP

4. Reagent Procedure SOP

5. SOP for receiving samples and documenting it.

Contents of SOPs

1. Name & Address of the company.

2. SOP Number and Date, when the SOP was made/reviewed/updated.

3. Goals or Aim of SOP.

4. Scope of the SOP (which area covered by the SOP).

5. Process/Steps to be carried out according to the requirement in the SOP.

6. Whose responsibility to carry out the SOP.

7. And any other important information depending upon the company like facilities, strengths, etc.

8. Name and Signature the person who made this SOP and Reviewed the SOP along with the date.

Purpose of SOP

 - SOP gives the instruction on regular activities that has to do in the company or specific department.

 - SOP help to work consistently to perform well on the projects or products.

 - SOP made for a specific organization. In that, the activities are described in detail to not get problems in the organization.

What should be there in SOP

 - The SOP should have proper statements in detail about the organization’s process and procedure.

 - SOP prepare in such a way that all internal structures of the organization should included for a better understanding of the organization.

 - SOP is written in simple language in sufficient detail so that a normal person can also be understood.

 - All the conditions should be written clearly with time management.

 - The SOP includes two pages about motivation, goals, experiences and soon, but in personal SOP motivation, goals and experiences written on one page.

 - The Head of the organization like the CEO and the process owner will approve the SOP because they are working in the particular field for a long time so they know what are the rules must be included to get benefits to the organization.

Make it visual

 - Standard operating procedures are tools to help take your operational processes to the next level. And as with all tools, you’ll have to introduce them gradually in a well-thought-through fashion. 

 - Particularly SOPs are valuable when you visualize not only their content, but also their underlying principles.

 - In this context, skills matrix is an ideal tool for the job! Skill matrices are a schematic overview of all your staff’s skills, competences, and qualifications. They prove highly valuable when designing and implementing SOPs because you can see at a glance who can do what and who can’t.


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