Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a document that outlines a process of a task or service in details. It is used to ensure a process is done the same way every single time, which is required for companies to be able to deliver a consistent product or service.
Why use Standard Operating Procedure
There are several reasons why companies choose to implement the use of SOP’s within their business. It could be part of a regulatory requirement, or a certification like ISO that recommend using SOP’s.
How to use SOP
The SOP should be an integrated part of training employees for a given function or service, and should be reviewed on a regular basis to keep it up to date and complaint with the condition of the workspace. Often they are reviewed as part of continuous improvement projects, or updated as a result of a problem solving exercise.
Benefits of SOP
- Benefit Worker: SOP’s protect the worker in terms of knowing that they are following industry best practice. Also it would lead to fewer issues and corrective actions that need to be taken.
- Benefit Costumer: The use of SOP also benefit the costumer in terms of more reliable products and services. It reduces variation in performance for product or service, due to being done by different employees or in different geographical locations.
What to Include
The purpose of procedures is to provide information on who does what and when they should do it. Below are the main questions the procedure should cover as a minimum.
- Roles and responsibilities
- Which task they should perform and the frequency
- The outcome of the process and how to measure it
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