Technical Writing Tips: Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) not only lead to process improvement, they also improve a company’s overall organization and efficiency. There can be the misconception that SOPs are little more than useless paperwork. However, they offer insights beyond documentation by helping employees to examine and understand the fundamentals of how the business work.

SOPs can help with process re-engineering – pertaining not only to process automation but applicable to the people-based operations side of a company. They streamline operations and build accountability in an organization.

Here are some tips for writing SOPs, focused on the procedure-writing portion:

  • Scope – describe purpose of process, its limits, and how it’s used
  • Methodology – list steps with necessary details and what equipment is needed
  • Terminology – identify acronyms, abbreviations and phrases not common place
  • Warnings – list health and safety warnings in their own section
  • Equipment – include a complete list of supplies needed, when, and where to find
  • Cautions – troubleshooting section covers what could go wrong, what to watch for

For more in-depth tips on how to write effective standard operating procedures, click here.

Business performance improvement