Step 2: Prioritize: Identify 10-20 most critical tasks. For yourself and every person on your team, it is necessary to identify the 10-20 most critical tasks that each job function/role performs. The idea behind this is that if suddenly the person who currently does that job were no longer there, how could the company fill that role as quickly as possible and continue the smooth functioning of the company.
Step 3: Write the SOP: Write the draft SOP in narrative and bullet format. This should include the step by step exact method of doing a particular task in detail. The task should be documented in the SOP such that someone could successfully complete the task who knew virtually nothing about your job and how to do it. Include sample documents, forms, examples, etc. as references. If the task is computer related, it is best to include screen shots. Also, for computer related tasks, be sure to say “hit enter, click _____, etc. The instructions need to be the exact procedure and keystrokes to follow.
Step 4: Validate and Verify the SOP: For non-technical tasks, the SOP in Phase 1 should be given to a person on the team who has either limited or no knowledge of how to do the task. That person should go through the SOP step by step. If that person can successfully complete the task by going through the SOP exactly, then it is a well written and verified SOP.
Step 5: Create Manuals for the SOP's: There should be one SOP manual for each job description. If there is a large team within a department, then each subsection of the department would have their own SOP manual. These manuals are hard copy manuals in binders with tabs indicating what SOP is enclosed for which job description or role. For a binder that contains more than 3-4 job descriptions with their associated (10-20) SOP's, a table of contents with page numbers should be included.
Step 6: Maintain SOP's: It is the responsibility of the individual team member to, at the direction of the leader or manager, update an SOP. An individual team member is not authorized to make changes to an SOP on their own. However, an individual team member is highly encouraged to bring ideas forth that would improve how their job or department could run more effectively. Once approved by the leader or manager, the individual team member may then update the SOP and go through the SOP process above.