Every business is unique, and there is no fixed set of rules on how a business process is set. Though it is customized to the business's needs, one still needs a standard operating procedure (SOPs).
What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?
An SOP consists of a detailed description of how to complete a job that is intrinsic to a business. The SOPs are a guide that enables the team to carry out their functions efficiently and consistently.
The description of activities in an SOP must be detailed; otherwise, the tool will be limited and not helpful. (SOP) Tool Demo can cover checklists, flowcharts, instructions, forms, etc., and must be reviewed periodically to check if it suits the business and the market.
How to write an SOP?
The following general style must be followed when writing an SOP.
SOP should be written in language keeping in mind who will use it
The format should have an easy-to-read step by step style
The information needs to be clear and precise
Flow charts should be used wherever possible
There is no single model for SOPs, but one can use generic models. The two main types are checklists and Flow chart.Six sigma online course teaches methodology to improve, control, standardize and optimize the process with the help of well-rounded Standard Operating Procedures.
This model is simple where one lists the activities that need to be done, and once someone performs it, a check is given against it. This type has both pros and cons:
Pros - It is easy to follow, quick to operate, and difficult to misinterpret.
Cons - It does not give the actions in detail and has no scope for decision making.
This model follows a decision-making format with the use of symbols. The symbols indicate what action will be carried out if any decision is made.
Pros - It is easy to follow the logical sequence of actions and decision points.
Cons – it does not allow too much detail.
Preparation of Document
The SOP writing must include everyone involved in the activity that needs to be documented. It must be written by one who carries out the activity under a supervisor by seniors in the process. All the stakeholders sign off the SOP with proper time and version.
Review, updations, and approvals
The SOP document needs to be reviewed by people has appropriate training and tested so that process is clear for everyone. The SOP must be approved and signed by the responsible senior authority in the company.
SOP document storage and traceability
The SOP is organized, filed, and stored to be accessed anytime. Each SOP must have the details such as the author's name, sign, date, department, and version. If a digital medium is used for storing and filing, it should be in reading mode only. It protects against unauthorized changes in the document.
It is seen that Six Sigma helps to transform the business process into an SOP as it defines the scope and objective of the team when defining the process. While making the SOP, keeping customers need in mind is followed in the business process. Also, analysis of the root cause of any process problems or defects is a crucial part of SOP to improve and find solutions. It can be advantageous to the SOP writers who have six sigma training online with them.