20 Ways to Improve the Narrative Section in SOPs

The following checklist describes how to write the narrative for procedures. Essentially, there are three things to be aware of: 1. The numbering of the steps 2. The description of the actions 3. The accuracy of the steps and actions in relation to the diagram. Later, we’ll look at how to write the actual procedure. […]

Procedure Titles: 5 Ways to Improve

Recently, we looked at how much detail is required when writing procedures. Let’s look at the title section of your procedure. This will be the first piece of content the reader encounters, so it’s important to give it some thought.  You want to make sure it’s accurate but also effective. For example, how long should […]

5 Procedure Writing Guidelines

Want to improve your procedures? Today we look at five simple ways to sharpen your SOPs. Let’s look at five terms frequently used in procedure manuals, instructional guides, and process design. 5 Procedure Writing Guidelines In procedures, the following five words are often used incorrectly. To avoid these mistakes, do as follows” Button Names – […]

How to Improve the SOP Title

Want to improve the title of your procedures? Let’s look at some ways to make the title more useful to the reader and also reflect the exact nature of the task. The title of your procedure serves several purposes: Identify purpose – distill the purpose of the task into a single sentence, remove clutter, and […]

How to Write the ‘Benefits’ Section in Procedures

Before you start writing your procedure, give some thought to how this will benefit them both from a personal and business level. In other words, you can encourage the reader to use your procedures if you describe the ways their life will be easier if they follow the steps exactly as you have written them. […]

[How To] Number Procedures Correctly

When writing procedures, should you write one or 1? It’s a small detail but how you use numbers in SOPs influences how others interpret your instructions and perform tasks correctly. In some situations, you should use one whereas in others 1 is the correct word to use. So, which one should you use? And where? […]

[How To] Create an SOP Naming Convention

Why are naming conventions so important in procedure writing? If you’re responsible for writing SOPs, then you need to develop naming conventions that help you control how procedures are written, reviewed, published, and archived. Don’t worry – it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Naming Conventions 101 The first question is: what are naming conventions? […]

How to Prioritize SOPs When Controlling Documents

What’s the simplest way to control numerous SOPs documents, especially if you’re managing a team across different business units?

Stage 9 – Publishing the Standard Operating Procedures

Once the SOPs and Procedures are signed off, we need to publish them. This process is relatively simple… if the correct guidelines are for naming conventions, track changes, documents are converted to PDF correctly, uploaded to the Document Management System, and outdated documents are moved to the Archive folders.

Stage 5 – Analyzing Alternatives and Contingencies to the As Is Business Process

Yesterday we looked at the Information Gathering Phase and described different ways you can get that information from Subject Matter Experts and those in the frontline who use the procedures. In general, Business Analysts gather data through workshops and interviews. Emails work too but I prefer to see the white of their eyes. You can also collect data from reading historical documents which may give more background to the project. These may include Specifications, Requirements and Flowcharts. Gather all these and hold them in a centralized location.

Stage 4 – Sherlock Holmes & The Tale of the Information Gathering Phase

This is the part I like the most about writing procedures. It involves walking around and getting to know those who work with the actual procedure and know how it works ‘warts and all’.

Stage 3 – Establishing SOP Writing Procedures

The third stage of the procedure writing process involves setting up a framework whereby all the different writing activities are formalized.

This means that before the team starts writing the procedures, you can explain to them how the writing process to works and what is expected of each person.

Stage 2 – Organizing the Procedure Writing Team

Yesterday we showed how to get support from the Management team for the Procedure Writing project. We looked at how you need to sell the importance of the quality procedures to the Executive team and how they in turn can pass this message down the line.

Now that we have that in place we can look at the Procedure Writing team. This involves gathering the best writers (or hiring freelance contractors) and then showing them how to write the procedures based on your style guides and SOP templates.

Stage 1 – Get Management Buy-In Before Writing Your Procedures

Yesterday we looked at what needs to be in place before you start writing your procedures. This involves getting the funding, creating a project plan, needs assessment and/or scope of work depending on how complexity of the assignment. Once you have the budget, the next stage is to get support from Management and to find someone at an executive level who will Champion the project.

Stage 0 – Before You Start Writing Standard Operating Procedures

Yesterday we looked at the lifecycle of writing Standard Operating Procedures. We outlined ten different stages in the writing process. What we’ll discuss today is what needs to be done before you start the actual writing. This includes the prep work necessary before the writing team is assembled and also other issues such as getting […]

10 Step Plan For Writing Standard Operating Procedures

The aim is to introduce the key concepts involved in: Designing Writing Formatting Testing and Maintainingg Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) These tutorials will look at how you can put together a team of writers who can write procedures to an acceptable level so that your company is better organised, both internally and customer-facing. … Some of the other topics will include: Role and Function of SOPs How to conduct a Needs Assessment How to implement SOPs How to Evaluate SOPs How to create SOP templates How to format SOPs, Process, and Flowcharts How to define a SOP At the end of the course, we’ll share some free sample SOPs and other resources that will help you write your procedures.

6 Examples of Standard Operating Procedures

What I’ve done this week is share 7 examples of different standard operating procedures examples (also called SOPs) so you can see how different organizations write, formant, and design their own procedures. Over the coming weeks, we will anaylze these documents and prepare a series of templates that will help you write SOPs for different industries and different sectors.

How to Stop SOP Templates From Crashing

Is there anything worse than writing Standard Operating Procedures all afternoon and then… Word crashes! If your Microsoft Word files suddenly become huge and start crashing, here’s one way to fix it. I’ve creating some very large SOPs in Microsoft Word and learnt a few ways to control these documents.

29 Ways to Write SOP Procedures Faster

Doing business in China has meant more business analysis, process design, proposal development, case studies and writing standard operating procedures.

As some friends on LinkedIn are also moving into business analysis and SOP writing, I thought I’d add a few tips here. While there is some overlap with technical writing, it does require a different mindset, for example, to understand the process flows and narratives that hold the procedure together.

The Gil Grissom Guide to Microsoft Word 2007

Sandra wants to know where is the Styles menu option in Microsoft Word 2007.

She wants to update her new business plan and add Notes, Messages, Quotes and other pre-formatted styles. The Styles in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007 seem to be different.

Even Gil Grissom would have a hard time doing this.