Discover about Standard Operating Procedures, their benefit for organisations and how they can be automated.
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) system is a set of processes that are formally documented by an organisation. These processes are then strictly adhered to, ensuring that all activities, services and products are always implemented in the same way. SOP software is also often used to illustrate that an organisation is adhering to regulated operational practices, and is, therefore, operating compliantly.
Whilst SOPs do not guarantee high-quality performance, they do ensure that the correct processes are in place, and they help evaluate what works well and what may need improvement.
Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures
SOPs provide the following benefits:
In following a set of formal processes there is likely to be fewer quality issues, and all operations maintain quality control of products and services.
2. Error reduction
Adhering to a written procedure or a set of instructions will incur far fewer errors.
3. Demonstration of compliant practices
SOPs ensure that legal rules and regulations are followed. They demonstrate that a business, or organisation is operating within the law and showing good intention.
4. Tacit knowledge
SOPs can be used as educational documents for training users who are new to a particular job. They also serve as an excellent tool for those who need re-training.
5. Serves as a checklist
A written set of instructions serves as a checklist to ensure, or reinforce, correct performance.
6. A tool for auditing purposes
SOPs provide a solid, detailed foundation for auditing purposes. They provide a historical trail of the ‘how, why and when’ steps in an existing process.
7. Health and safety
SOPs are an important asset because they act as an explanation of steps in a process, should there ever be a need to investigate an accident in the workplace.
8. Enables improvements
An existing set of standard operating procedures provide a factual synopsis of a current set of steps for a process or a piece of equipment. However, they also act as an aid when conducting a business process review and enable a business or organisation to refine a process to make it leaner and more cost-effective.
Automating with SOP software
Following a set of operating procedures ensures consistency but can slow a workforce down. SOP software solutions can assist in automating many of the checking procedures without compromising the result.
SharePoint is the ideal solution for establishing your organisation's SOP system. It offers a centralised and customisable location for your organisation's SOP documents. And with automation, specific policy owners can be alerted (and chased) when documents pertaining to them are due for review or update.
To supplement this, custom process apps can be built using Power Apps (typically configured as eforms) to replicate SOP workflows. This can allow for procedures to be completed in a consistent and streamlined way and for results to be logged back to SharePoint. This can also be monitored from a management standpoint to ensure compliance and evaluate efficiency.
To discuss SOP software solutions for your organisation, and the use of SharePoint and Power Apps, please get in touch: