SOP Management Software: Best Choice for Agile SOP

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SOP management software can help you do SOPs with agility. That means having your SOPs be actionable, accessible, and powerful.

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June 10 2020 SOP Management Software: Best Choice for Agile SOP p r o c e s s . s t/sop-management-software Oliver Peterson June 10 2020 People are the most important asset in a company processes need people to execute them and the outcome of these processes is often a function of how well the instructions have been put together. If the outcome is less than ideal then don’t just blame your employees: check your processes. Standard operating procedures SOPs are there for your employees to follow so that the job gets done properly. SOP management software is all about figuring out how to innovate and improve efficiency in your internal processes. This Process Street article will help you understand the benefits of SOP management software and give you some actionable SOP templates to get started. We’ll be looking at: Let’s start with a simple introduction to what SOP management software actually means. What is SOP management software 1 / 8

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SOP management software is any software tool that can be used to build maintain and continuously improve standard operating procedures. With SOP management software like Process Street your standard operating procedures can look like this: Or any of these: Standard operating procedures are supposed to provide clear reference points for employees and stakeholders on how to approach internal processes in your business. Simply put people have to actually use your SOPs. If you think about this it’s clear that using software for SOP management is superior to having a dusty old dusty pile of paper forms sitting in your office. A study by Express Employment Professionals found that more than half of employees lose about six hours a week due to disorganization at the workplace. When employees have to run around looking for physical documents and important forms are lost in labyrinthine cabinets it’s undeniable time and money is being wasted on this tedious manual busywork. Isn’t one of the reasons to use SOPs to improve process efficiency Should you implement standard operating procedures at your company When it seems like your company is running just fine it might not seem worth it to make significant changes to the daily processes. After all why fix what isn’t broken Well the problem with this approach is that most issues only become obvious when the situation has declined beyond repair. And at this point the issue has become so deeply rooted that it demands significantly more attention and effort to correct than the preventative measures that could have been taken beforehand. So it’s always best to nip potential problems in the bud before they get out of hand. Even at companies where things seem to be running smoothly standard operating procedures can help optimize recurring processes and set safety measures in place. Some ways that implementing SOPs can help your business include: Achieving more efficient and consistent employee onboarding Updating and optimizing outdated processes Documenting vital knowledge about the job Ensuring your employees can perform their jobs without your supervision Holding employees accountable Achieving more efficient and consistent employee onboarding 2 / 8

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The longer you spend training your new hires the less time they spend actually working. The quality of the training may also vary from hire to hire depending on who may be in charge of training that particular employee what they can remember at the moment or even their mood that day. With SOPs employees are provided with a guideline to walk them and your new hires through the most important steps of the onboarding process. This ensures that not only do all hires receive consistent training but they also rely less on mentors freeing up your employee’s time to continue with their own work. Updating and optimizing outdated processes As your business grows you may begin to notice that processes that may have once been adequate are no longer cutting it. When this happens it can often be difficult to figure out what changed and how to fix it. Your processes just may need some tweaking as your company grows and daily operations change. Building and utilizing SOPs makes it easier to not only learn and complete tasks but also to make updates to your procedures as your business evolves. Documenting vital knowledge about the job At every company there are certain employees that go above and beyond to learn about their responsibilities and perfect their processes as time goes on. These employees are the company’s backbone. They offer the best solutions to problems and are often the people other employees go to when they run into issues. While these employees may be great to have on your team it isn’t guaranteed that they’ll always be around. What if they go on vacation or worse decide to leave the company Your company needs to be prepared for these kinds of situations. This is why it’s crucial that you have this company knowledge documented into SOPs. It makes sure that your company can continue performing just as efficiently as ever whether or not your best employees are around. Ensuring your employees can perform their jobs without your supervision Sometimes as a business owner it can feel as though no one on your team can operate your business as well as you do. This often results in owners being very involved with their employees’ work to make sure that everything is being done to your standard. This level of involvement unfortunately isn’t sustainable especially as your company grows. Luckily with the implementation of well documented SOPs your team can actually be 3 / 8

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as good as you are at their job or perhaps even better. You can rest assured that when they have access to your SOPs they’ll perform efficiently and produce quality results without you having to be heavily involved every step along the way. This frees up your time to be able to focus on growing your business and moving forward. Holding employees accountable There’s a good chance that when left to their own devices your employees spend a good portion of their days not being as focused or productive as you’d hope. The best way to make sure your team is kept on track is to monitor their performance. One of the most important aspects of maintaining an efficient and productive team is by practicing accountability. It shouldn’t be acceptable for your employees to get paid simply for just showing up. They should be getting paid to do their job well. Implementing SOP management software gives you the ability to monitor your employees’ performance and determine whether or not there needs to be some corrective action. There are many different SOP management software choices out there but they are not all made equal. There are certain features that you should keep in mind when picking the right SOP management software for your company. 5 features to look for when choosing a SOP management software When deciding on which SOP management software to choose for your company it’s important you choose the one that offers you the most to gain. You want this software to help make big improvements to your company’s overall productivity and quality otherwise what’s the point To get you started here are five features your SOP management software should definitely offer: 1. Easy editing for version control and SOP updates One of the main benefits of SOP management software is having the power to quickly and easily edit your SOPs. If the editing interface isn’t intuitive then you and your team will struggle whenever any changes need to be made and let’s face it if you’re taking SOPs seriously you need a contingency plan. 2. Free SOP templates 4 / 8

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SOP templates take care of the hardest part of writing SOPs: starting. They save you the time and unnecessary effort involved in building SOPs from scratch. Some SOP management software also offers several variations of templates so that you can choose depending on your specific needs. If you want to see all of the free SOP templates Process Street offers check out this article. 3. Options for sharing and controlling permissions What good are SOPs if no one on your team can access them Your SOP management software needs to provide the ability to share your SOPs with the appropriate team members for each procedure. On the other hand it’s also important to be able to limit access to your SOPs in order to protect sensitive information. An effective SOP will allow you to have full control over who can and cannot access your documents. 4. Information on building SOPs When writing your SOPs you have to make sure that the procedure is written as clearly and easy-to-understand as possible so that it’s a breeze for your employees to follow. A 5 / 8

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good SOP management software will provide you with the supplementary tools and information needed for you to do just that. These tools can take the form of things like a knowledge base help files communicative customer support etc. 5. Organized storage system for processes and procedures Most companies after they get started writing SOPs end up with many procedures for each process involved in their daily operations. It’s incredibly important that all of your SOPs are organized and easy to access within a centralized system. This will allow for you and your team to be able to easily access exactly what they need when they need it without wasting time sifting through a disorganized mess of documents. Benefits of SOP management software Implementing strong SOP management software can have a lasting positive impact on your business and employees. But how exactly you may be asking Let’s take a look at some examples. Saves you time and money When you don’t have specified procedures for performing recurring tasks you and your employees will have to improvise every time it needs to be done. Because of this you’ll spend more time and energy in completing tasks and there’s also no sure way of knowing whether or not you completed it correctly. When using SOPs there’s no need for trial and error. You and your employees can follow the documented procedure step by step and be confident that it’s correct. Promotes compliance When operating a business it’s incredibly important that you’re following industry standards and regulations so that you’re not putting your customers or your employees at risk. When you don’t have a clearly defined standard for your team’s daily operations it’s inherently far less likely that they would be complying with these regulations. When you have SOP management software in place that outlines the standards under which your company should operate it’s as simple as following a checklist. Your company processes are built in line with the industry standards and the procedure can be repeated whenever necessary. Guarantees consistency If your employees work without a standard operating procedure the quality of your product or service is guaranteed to be inconsistent. This can be frustrating for your employees your customers and ultimately can have a negative effect on your 6 / 8

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company’s sales and reputation. Experts are experts because they can repeat their successes. It isn’t just down to chance it’s almost guaranteed. When your team uses SOPs they become experts at the process because they’re following a step-by-step procedure that outlines exactly what they need to do to nail it each and every time. Minimizes safety risks The safety of your employees should be a top priority. If they’re put at risk whilst on the job not only is that unethical but it’s also illegal and can result in some serious consequences. SOP management software mitigates any potential risks involved with the job. If your employees are carefully following your documented procedures and safety precautions then their safety is guaranteed. Helps monitor employee performance As mentioned earlier in this article holding employees accountable for their actions makes sure that the work you’re paying them to do is being done properly and efficiently. The company owner needs to be aware of how exactly team members are spending their company time in order for the company to be able to improve grow and succeed. SOP management software makes it incredibly easy to keep track of everyone’s progress as they’re following along with the SOPs. You’re able to have a clearer idea of who is responsible if something goes wrong. Using Process Street to manage your SOPs Process Street is a great SOP management software solution because it has everything you need to build edit share and optimize your standard operating procedures. We’re talking about SOP innovation. What do we mean by SOP innovation Traditionally SOPs are poorly implemented due to a disconnect between the tools used to implement them. With Process Street your SOPs become the tools making them actionable and easier to use. If you’re following a process and you think of an improvement you want it to be as easy as possible to make that change. You can’t do that if you’re reading a PDF for example. Maybe you use Microsoft Word Google Docs Evernote or some other digital document editing tool to keep track of your processes. They’ll do you fine until you need process flexibility or need to enforce strict process adherence Process Street has conditional logic and stop tasks for both of these respectively. 7 / 8

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If you’re still using printed forms you’ll have all of these problems and even more without any ability to make quick clean edits collaborate with your team on the same document enforce process flexibility etc. Hopefully you get the point. With Process Street you can build powerful SOPs like this one below with all the functionality of our advanced features like role and task assignments approvals conditional logic stop tasks and more. Click here to sign up for a free trial 8 / 8

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