How to write a SOP with XWiki Procedures

Nov 07 2017

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. XWiki offers you a versatile and ready-to-use structure for all interested domains: management, IT development, marketing, HR, transportation and many more. This is a solution suitable for any department of an enterprise searching to put in place a procedure which would streamline their processes.

Here are 4 steps to create easy-to-follow SOPs:

1. Do your research

A key planning activity for writing effective procedures is to understand the process that will be documented within the procedure. That starts with research or, in other words, collecting information.

This would include doing things like interviewing process owners and process doers. They are the go-to people when requesting related information because of their insight and involvement into the process. In addition, research should help you build objectives by learning process capabilities and by benchmarking industry leaders performances in targeted areas.

Do: Include screenshots, images, videos and best case practices.

Don't: Avoid connecting tasks to specific tools, as they might change over time.

Search tool

2. Establish the bigger picture

Your task is to create a situation where employees aren’t simply just following procedures. They want to understand the roles they play in company success.

By setting goals aligned to the organizational strategy, they will be more motivated to improve the procedures as they will grow along with the company. Therefore, keep in mind that your procedures would need to explain the actions towards the accomplishment of your business plan, while documenting the involved steps and the effects of interactions with other processes. 

Do: Show where a procedure's success falls under the company's growth plan.

Don't: Forget to brief in all departments involved in the well-going of the procedure. 

Procedures categories

3. Provide a structure 

A written procedure is a step-by-step guide to direct the reader through a task, so keep things simple and clear. With XWiki Procedures you have the chance to expand procedures to a company level, or just keep it neat for a team. Give your procedure a structure that will ease the efforts done by your employees instead of sending them on a time consuming path.

Do: Insist on the sequence and correlation of the tasks, as it will help when following them.

Don't: Leave out steps just because they seem obvious. They never are. 

Procedures sidebar structure

4. Involve employees

Give employees ownership so they can contribute to the way things are happening in your organization. For most companies, the problem isn’t necessary with the procedure, but with how the procedure is presented to employees. Make them enjoyable, easy to follow, and most of all - appreciate those taking the time to improve them.

Do: Brainstorms and offer guidance before instilling a new procedure, so everyone is fully on-board. 

Don't: Just add a procedure, take the time to explain all things left unclear and amend where necessary. 

Assign user responsibilities

Conclusions:

1. Research what the competition does and what steps you need to follow, customize it to your needs. 

2. Emphasize the bigger picture and how procedures help your company thrive. 

3. Take the time to make the procedure structured, easy to follow and have clear tasks.

4. Give ownership to those working on the procedure. Encourage them to improve it. 

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