10 Methods to Write Standard Operating Procedures [Updated 2018]

Standard operating procedures are one of the most important tools for any business that wants to keep running profitably for years and years. That’s why it’s so important to know how to choose the right SOP writing software and to know how to actually use the software to create the procedures that will run your business in the future. Learn those two things and you’ll enjoy more success in the future. Below are the 5 main methods for writing good standard operating procedures. Try to use them to generate your own list of procedures.

Choose Top Quality Software for the Job

Before going ahead and writing any procedures, you need to decide on the best SOP software to use for your business. Take the time to look at the different SOP writing software options, and really considering the benefits and downfalls of each of the different options. Make sure the SOP management software you decide on fits the format that you’re most interested in going with, and that it will work properly for all the different needs your business has.

Create a Starting List

After taking the time to find the right SOP writing software, it’s time to decide on the most important procedures at your business. Look at the core operating procedures and decide on which are the most important and central to your business. These are the ones that you want to standardize first and foremost because they will have the biggest impact on your operations. Start putting together a comprehensive list that you can move over to your SOP management software later on.

Settle on a Format

This is arguably the most important and most challenging part of using the best SOP software to create procedures for your company. You need to think about whether you want to create a step-by-step list, diagrams or a mixture of the two to document your procedures. It’s a good idea to look at premade templates and try to incorporate the elements that you like your own custom template while ignoring the rest. Make sure that before the template is added to your SOP management software it’s reviewed by everyone responsible for maintaining the procedures, and that they agree on everything.

Gather all the Necessary Information

Now that you have your SOP management software, you have the procedures that you want to document, you have the template that you’ll be using, it’s time to actually gather all the information for your different procedures. It will take some time and some serious research, but you need to get every single detail that you’re going to need to put together your operating procedures properly.

Write, Double Check and Enact Your SOP Now you have everything that you need to use that SOP management software properly. Load up the SOP writing software and begin filling in the procedures using the format that everyone decided on. Take care to enter into procedures as accurately as possible, and review them once you’re finished.

That’s all it takes to make use of the best SOP software to create powerful procedures that will absolutely change the way that you run your business over time. These procedures are important to help you have a successful company, and you’ll have to update them over time, but it’s important to know how to put them together in the beginning.

Refine Your Information

Go back through all the information that you gathered together and take out any details that aren’t important while trying to add anything else that you forgot along the way. Talk with experts that carry out the procedures and find out if you left anything else that needs adding to make it as complete as possible.

Write a Rough Draft on Paper

Now that you’ve decided on the SOP writing software that you’re going to use and you know the format that you want, it’s time to start planning out the procedure. The Best SOP software will help you through the process of documenting a procedure, but it’s really best to start on a piece of paper. Jot down notes about the procedure and how to go through one step to the next. You want this to be simple, but to include the important information as well. Take your time and get everything written down to be used with your SOP management software later on. Make a complete list and then get ready to transfer it to another format for more effective documentation.

Plan it with a Quick Flow Chart

From the paper that you used to jot down information and organize the procedure a bit, transfer everything to a flowchart. The chart should reflect any decisions that need to be made and explain every step of the process from start to finish. You can use software to make the flowchart, but many people just rely on basic paper to create flowcharts from beginning to end. Either way, the chart should help you map out the entire procedure so that you can add it to the best SOP software for long-term use.

Use the SOP Writing Software

After you take the time to really map out the procedure well, it’s time to move it to your SOP writing software. This software will easily accept all the information that you’ve amassed and helped you organize it in a way that you can very easily understand and that other people can understand as well. Make sure that you add all the necessary information into the software and that you’re organizing all the information in a way that makes sense to you.

Test the Procedure

After you take the time to document everything with your SOP management software, you still need to test out the procedure to make sure it works properly. Have someone follow the steps detailed exactly as they are detailed to make sure they work as they are expected to. This is the time when you’ll find errors with your documentation so that you can make improvements to it.

Revise and Improve

After going through the test procedures, it’s time to revise and repair any issues that your procedures have. Pinpoint any problems that occurred while going through the procedures, or how instructions can be made clearer and easier to understand. Go back through and make the necessary changes and test the procedure once again following the steps exactly. Keep going through the cycle of testing and revising the procedure until it’s been brought as close to perfection as possible and you have a documented procedure.

The best SOP software makes it easier to document procedures, but there is a great deal of work that you’ll have to do outside of the software as well. Make sure that you’re getting all the information and that you have it written down in a way that’s going to work well for you in the future. If there are mistakes, take the time to resolve them. If there is something that doesn’t make sense about your procedure, make sure that you change that as well.

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