(Get it?!… Get it?!)
Definition: Standard Operating Procedure is a specific procedure of operations that describes the activities necessary to complete tasks in accordance with industry regulations, provincial laws, or even just your own standards for running your business. (This is usually set up as individual SOPs for each task, and then combined into a manual of all the SOPs).
You might ask yourself: “Self, is my Standard Operating Procedures manual a Piece of…(well you know)?” Or more simply “Self, is my S.O.P. a POS?”
In return, here is what I would ask you:
“When was the last time you read any section of your S.O.P.? Was it within the last quarter?”
Or simply: “Have you assed any section of your S.O.P. in the last quarter to determine if the process still applies to your current business structure?”
If you answered “No” to these questions then the answer is easy… Your S.O.P. is quite likely a POS. And while that might be a slight over-exaggeration, the point is that if your S.O.P. is out of date then it is not serving you well and that defeats the purpose of having one.
As a business owner you can confirm that things are ever evolving. Staff shifts, goals change, long term visions adjust. And your S.O.P’s need to be modified right along with all of this. Now, before you roll your eyes and remind me how much of a nerd I am, let me take the edge off.
Here’s how you can begin to make your S.O.P. into a new kind of POS (“Path Of Success”).
Start with what you have and build from there.
Take each procedure one at a time – Try not to build a city in a day. If there are a set of procedures that make sense to assess together, then do it one chunk at a time. Like a Kit-Kat bar.
Turn your S.O.P. development into a project. Depending on the number of procedures you need to assess or modify this can span 3-6 months (or perhaps more, but ensure it remains a priority).
Make this a team project. Assign a set of S.O.P’s to the members of your team that directly touch those operations. Have them run through each procedure and make notes regarding clarity, efficiency, and efficacy.
“Why is this so important?” you might say. Whelp, a solid set of S.O.P’s will:
- Create a solid foundation of function within your business. This is the holy grail to ensuring your staff follows a set standard of practices, and know exactly what they were hired to execute.
- Provides job satisfaction to your team. People are motivated when they have a clear path of success. Plus they can better see the snowball effect of one task leading to another, and better rally as one unit.
- Reduce errors in outcomes, miscommunication, gaps in processes, and time-consuming bottlenecks.
- Increase productivity, efficiency, successful outcomes, and customer satisfaction.
- Reduces the number of times you have to put out fires, and ultimately increases your revenue.
- You can brag to your other business owner friends and say “My POS is better than the POS you are using!”
Doesn’t all that sounds amazing!!! Did we get you especially with that last one?
All hail the S.O.P!!
If you have any questions, or want to work through how it might look to update the S.O.P’s within your business, then give us a call. We don’t want you to be working with a POS… we want you to have a POS (the better one of course).