Standard Operating Procedure – SOP
Anything we do in our laboratory workplace, we must always follow a rigid set of instructions given by our higher ups. These set of instructions were given out to give specific explanation and instructions in carrying out a certain task. These set of instructions are called standard operating procedures (SOPs).
We may not be aware of it, but these instructions are based on a carefully laid out framework to ensure that all of the SOPs carried out maintain consistency.
This framework or standard operating procedure also ensures that there is no loss of effectiveness within the workplace.
Preparing a standard operating procedure is not an easy task. All business procedures must be written by someone who not only knows the ins and outs of the company, but also by someone who have a experience and understanding of how instructions can be carried out properly even when the employees are unsupervised.
Creation of this SOP involves knowledge of highly-technical processes. If there is an inadequacy in process definitions, all the other standard operating procedures based upon will follow this course causing a company to fall apart.
So the next time we feel the urge to complain about a certain company protocol, always keep in mind that these standard operating procedures were created not only with the company in mind, but also with that of its employee's welfare.
These protocols ensure that we can always max out our potential and productivity, reaping out great benefits not only for the company, but for us as well.
How to Write an Effective Standard Operating Procedure
A standard operating procedure plays a vital role in the implementation of various policies of a lot of businesses and companies. It is a must, therefore, to make sure that we always follow a reliable standard operating procedure to ensure that there is uniformity within the existing SOPs and those that might be created in the future.
The key, therefore, in making an effective standard operating procedure is to give allowances for a rich flow of information and details.
The SOP should contain a lot of information and details that it can be easily followed correctly without any supervision. Details that should never be left out are the dates when the SOP will be issued, implemented, and when it will reach its expiration.
In the event that a reference was used to create the SOP, the reference along with the link to it must be included. The historical data must also be included. These are the dates of previous issues of related SOPs.
It is vital for a SOP be fashioned in such a way that the procedures can be written clearly. This is to make sure that the SOP is written in a level that everyone can understand.
The SOP must as much as possible make room for process maps. A lot of loopholes, dead ends and illogical steps which cannot be easily found in texts are usually detected in process maps. A lot of people are visual learners, and they would greatly benefit from this.