Editor’s Note: Digital SOPs: Why Every Business Needs Them is a guest article written by the ArcLab team.
Let’s imagine you’re in the process of baking your favourite cake.
To bake this delicious cake, you might choose to follow a recipe that has step-by-step instructions. For example:
- Prepare ingredients A to Z (in these quantities)
- Make the dough by carrying out Steps 1 to 5 (insert as many steps as you need…)
- Prepare the oven – pre-heat it to ____ degrees
- Bake the cake for ____ hours
- Etc. etc.
Follow these steps, and you get a delicious cake. Miss or mess up a certain step (or steps), and that cake may not be quite that delicious…
Voila, this cake recipe is pretty much a Standard Operating Procedure!
SOPs in Business
Very simply, Standard Operating Procedures (or “SOP”) are documented, step-by-step instructions to perform any specific task or process.
Good systems and work processes are the hallmarks of many successful businesses.
The business has figured out what works and needs to be done. It puts in place a set of repeatable processes so that it can efficiently grow and scale. These processes are often documented into SOPs (much like a cake recipe) for staff to follow.
SOPs are important for growing businesses. Because as the business and workforce scales, it will no longer feasible for processes to be taught to staff via word-of-mouth.
Digital SOPs: Why every business needs them
Let’s think back to your cake recipe at the beginning. Was it on a piece of paper, passed down from your parents, who got it from their parents, who got it from THEIR parents…(?)
Have you ever thought about what happens if there’s a break in the chain?
What happens if there is more than one person who needs the recipe (aka SOP)?
What happens if we accidentally tip our chocolate sauce container over the one and only copy of the recipe?
And what happens if we figure out a better way to make the cake, and want to update the SOP to reflect this new innovation?
While pen-and-paper SOPs may be nostalgic, especially for family heirlooms like your treasured recipes, they may not quite work for businesses.
Thankfully, in today’s digital economy, it’s not difficult to find cloud-based solutions that help us to easily author and distribute SOPs to our workforce, all at the touch of a button.
Here is what Digital SOPs (stored in the cloud) means for your business:
- Accessible: No more worries about torn hard copies (or grimy ones in the restaurant kitchen)
- Engaging: Use video and pictures to illustrate what you want your staff to do (more effective than wordy documents!)
- Current: Update as-and-when procedures change and improve
- Data-driven: Track who has accessed and who hasn’t. Furnish the data for compliance checks by management & regulators
There are a few platforms out there that are dedicated to digital SOPs; hence, it’s really easy to get started. We at ArcLab are a digital learning platform, empowering businesses all over the world to easily create SOPs so your workforce can easily get up to speed, and produce more for your business.
Start creating your first Digital SOP right now: https://arclab.io/digital-sops/
Last thing before you go!
We’ve created a Digital SOP for how to run your monthly payroll, using none other than Talenox. It’s the simplest SOP we’ve ever made; after all, payroll should be just that. Simple. 😎