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Standard Operating Procedure Checklist

Standard Operating Procedure Checklist 3

Standard operating procedure checklist will help you write an SOP to help guide everyone in best practices.

How many times do team members not follow instructions, make the same errors over and over again or continually ask the same questions?

Standard operating procedures (SOPs), can help by documenting step-by-step instructions to guide the way on how a task must be executed to solve these problems.

Creating a Standard Operating Procedure

SOPs are documents that have clear steps and detailed instructions on how a procedure or task should be performed from start to finish.

Providing the necessary guidance on how team members should complete specific tasks and carry out certain aspects of work tasks can reduce errors and guarantee it is accomplished in the best possible way.

Standard Operating Procedure Checklist

Creating a standard operating procedure document can feel daunting, but hopefully, this checklist will help you.

  • Procedure Title: What the procedure is for? Which procedure this will be covering. 
  • Creation: Date and by whom? Creation date gives you a timestamp to schedule a review.
    Know who was responsible for the document’s creation.
  • Department: Which department will use this SOP? Whom does this apply to?
  • Purpose Statement:  Reason for the process. Why is it used? What is it for? How will it be used? 
    Are there certain regulatory standards required in the process?  
    Specific roles and responsibilities by certain team members?
    Define limitations, be clear and explicit
  • Goals & Objectives: What will it help solve? Why is this important 
  • Terminology: Definitions for acronyms and  jargon. Aim for short, concise instructions, so this may require to shorten terminology like SOP(standard operating procedures).
  • Clear definition so the person reading the SOP can fully understand what you’re talking about.
    Simple is always best.
  • Instructions / Guide: Step-by-step instructions of the procedure. List the steps necessary to complete the task.
    Describe each step and specific task. 
  • Equipment: Document and define specific tools, equipment or technology that will be required to complete the task.
    What is required to complete the task? Information about using the equipment? How is it to be used? Are there  standards to consider?
  • Health and Safety: Safety equipment, hazards or training needed with the task? Any there any safety aspects that people should be aware of? Make these very clear and stand out within your guided steps.
  • Contingencies: Are there any other scenarios for example “if this/then that”
  • Fail Points: What could go wrong? What could interfere with achieving the task?
  • Test: Does it work? You have created SOP, but it doesn’t mean it works. Test it out.
    Ask someone not involved in the process or task and with no prior knowledge of the procedure to follow the steps. Watch and learn, can they achieve the task  using your procedure? Can they complete the task without making a mistake? Did they encounter problems? 
  • Analyse & Review: Every procedure can be improved in time.
    Remove unnecessary steps. Break other steps into small tasks. Purchase equipment that can help.
    Continuous improvement is the key to improve process performance.

Level of Detail in SOPs

There is no right or wrong answer here, as some business and situations will require huge amounts of details. Others the bare minimum will suffice to achieve great results. It is making sure you get to the point.

Every industry is different, and you will know your industry and business far better, so you are key to making that final decision. SOP documents should cover the key steps in your process or procedure.

The key factor in creating a standard operating procedure checklist is simple and easy for anyone to understand clearly. Aim for short and concise.

Standard Operating Procedure Checklist

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