Standard operating procedures can provide step-by-step instructions for completing specific tasks. Procedures describe how members of an organisation will carry out duties and responsibilities. Your standard operating procedures will serve as written documents for your employees to refer to. They generally are collected in a single manual which is easily accessible to the individuals who will be performing the procedures. Writing your organisation standard operating procedures will help define the way you do business.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Word processing or desktop publishing software
- List of standard operating procedures to be written up
Decide what specific task you will write your standard operating procedure about. This may be a testing procedure or a procedure for filing a contract.
Review successful standard operating procedures and learn what is generally accepted. Read the Environmental Protection Agency's publication, "Guidance for Preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)." (See References.)
Make a list of any materials or specifications that the reader will need to use for the procedure.
Make a list of the order of operations that the reader will need to do in order to complete the task. For example, what will he do first, and then next?
On a piece of paper, draw your standard operating procedure the way you want it to look. For example, do you want your company letterhead at the top of the procedure? What type of font will you use?
Write the purpose of the procedure. This will generally be about one paragraph long. Describe what the procedure is created to do and how it is designed to be used.
Include an Apparatus section. This section will list the things that you will need in order to properly perform the procedure. For example, will you need a specific software application for creating a budget report? Or will you need a piece of testing equipment to perform a test?
Write the steps of the procedure in the order that they will be performed. Be sure to include any important numerical information, such as rounding numbers to a significant digit. Use active voice.
Tips and warnings
- Try to perform the standard operating procedure strictly from the directions that you have written. Can you complete the task accurately?
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