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25 Examples of Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are instructions for repeatable tasks and activities. These are used to improve efficiency, productivity, quality, speed and/or safety by applying best known practices to tasks. The design of standard operating procedures may be based on evidence, industry practices and organizational knowledge. They can also be tested and continually improved. The following are common elements of a standard operating procedure.
Title and identifying information such as codes
Version control information
Safety precautions
Warnings and cautions
Roles and responsibilities
List of inputs
List of preconditions
List of required tools
Process flow
Step-by-step instructions
Fillable forms
Troubleshooting steps
Exception handling steps
Escalation procedures
Testing and validation steps
Quality control steps
Review and approval steps
Compliance steps
Communication steps
References to external documentation
Repeating the same procedures with precision may be viewed as toilsome work that is unfulfilling if these procedures are applied many times in a day.
Depending on the context, standard operating procedures need not be rules but rather can serve as a reference. This is particularly important in areas such as customer service where you want employees to use their capacity for empathy, influencing and flexibility.
The term standard operating procedure is sometimes used in jest to refer to inefficient, inflexible or aloof administrative practices.
Next: Work Management
More about work procedures:
Business Processes
Process Analysis
Work Management
Work Process
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