#106: SOP Format Types

Office Operations

In the last episode, I went over a 2-step process for how to get started with your standard operating procedures. Now that you have an outline and a way to record your processes, you need to begin to document your items in a way that makes sense for YOUR business.

We each have unique businesses and business structures, and there is no official right or wrong way to do this, but what I want to do is provide you with some steps to follow that will help organize your thoughts and plan the most effective way to document your processes for your business.  And this is much much easier if you have a format.

In this video, I’m going to show you three types of SOP formats:

Welcome to Systems Sunday! Last week we went over how to get started, which is just recording yourself as you walk through a process. Now we need to begin to document in a way that makes sense for your business.

We each have unique businesses and business structures, and there is no official right or wrong way to do this, but what I want to do is provide you with some steps to follow that will help organize your thoughts and plan the most effective way to do it for your business.

The documentation process is pretty simple, we started this last week by writing down your list of processes. Or even if you just did a quick outline of things you do daily as you get started, you are simply identifying what the procedure will accomplish. The example I used was how to set up a call in Zoom for a coaching client.

Begin with the end in mind, define the end result, the purpose, or the goal. The goal is to uniformly set up a Zoom call correctly.

And then create the step-by-step procedure.

And this is much much easier if you have a format. I’m going to show you three types with examples:

A simple steps format: Use this format for routine procedures that are short and easy to follow. This type of format is generally a simple numbered or bulleted list with short, simple sentences that are clear and easy for the reader to follow.

Here’s an example: Easy, bullet points of all the items to do for creating an email signature so that team members are all uniform.

A hierarchical steps format: If your procedures have a lot of steps that involve some decisions, you may want to use the hierarchical steps format. This is usually a bulleted or numbered list of main steps followed by a set of specific substeps. Here’s the SOP for weekly tasks, see how the main item is followed by specific steps.

A flowchart format: You may want to use a flowchart to map out and plan procedures that include many possible outcomes. This is a good choice when the results are not always predictable. Here’s a basic flowchart for setting up get acquainted calls or introductory sessions.

I hope that gives you some ideas for how you can document your SOPs. If you need a shortcut, I have some templates in my SOP Kit that includes lots of examples. 

Next week we’ll go over how to write an effective SOP, see you then.

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!

SOP Templates & Process Library

$45.00

Streamline your business operations effortlessly with our SOP Templates & Process Library. Standardize and simplify your processes with 24 meticulously crafted examples, covering everything from email management to customer support procedures. These editable templates empower you to customize SOPs tailored to your business needs, ensuring consistency and efficiency. Start optimizing your workflow today!

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