SOP Tips and Tricks

SOP Tips and Tricks

Fluency FSI Blog 1: 8 Essential Steps for Making SOPs

FSI Blog - 8 Essential Steps for making SOPs (2024)

FSI Blog - 8 Essential Steps for making SOPs (2024)

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Leo Roubos

Jun 23, 2024

FSI Blog 1: 8 Essential Steps for Making SOPs (+ The AI Automation approach)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are the backbone of every process-heavy business. Clearly documented step-by-step guides ensure that processes are performed consistently, efficiently, and in compliance with regulations.

This is especially important for industries like financial services, healthcare and manufacturing.

This blog will quickly run through 8 key steps to ensure that when you produce an SOP, you are doing so efficiently and following best practices.

Define the Purpose and Scope of the SOP

Purpose: Clearly articulate what the SOP aims to achieve. This could range from onboarding new employees to handling customer support tickets.

Scope: Specify where the SOP starts and ends. Outline the boundaries to avoid any confusion about what the SOP covers.

Example: For a financial institution, an SOP might define the steps required to verify a customer's identity, applying to all front office, client-facing staff.

Identify Key Stakeholders and Roles

Engage the individuals who will use and maintain the SOP. Identify who is responsible for each part of the process and who needs to follow the procedures.

Example: For verifying customer identities, the stakeholders could include all branch employees performing cashier duties and their supervisors.

Gather Necessary Reference Materials

Collect all the definitions, acronyms, and reference documents that support the SOP. This includes any forms, checklists, or guidelines that the users will need. If the process links to other processes or documents, here is the chance to create those links.

Example: Reference materials might include a list of acceptable photo IDs or a checklist for verifying customer information.

Create a Process Map

Before writing the detailed steps, map out the entire process visually. Use flowcharts or diagrams to show the sequence of tasks, decision points, and possible outcomes. This ensures that people can view the process in the context of the broader business.

Example: A flowchart for customer verification might start with the customer presenting their ID, followed by steps to verify the ID against the account details.

Write Clear and Detailed Instructions

Detail each step required to complete the process. Ensure the instructions are clear, concise, and easy to follow. Include what to do in exceptional circumstances. Make sure that you don't miss any key steps in the process - this is the hardest part of creating an SOP (aside from how tedious it is). If you miss a single step in the process, it can make it hard to follow or non-compliant. Automation and technology can help to tackle this challenge

Example: "Each cashier must verify the customer's identity before performing any transactions. Request a photo ID and check that the name matches the account. If the ID is not valid, do not proceed with the transaction."

Review and Test the SOP

Before finalising, review the SOP with the individuals who will be using it. Conduct a pilot test to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. Gather feedback and make necessary revisions. If you have been creating the SOP manually so far, this can be a time-consuming process as you may have to re-write steps over and over again.

Example: Have a few branch employees follow the SOP to verify customer identities and provide feedback on its clarity and completeness.

Implement and Train

Once the SOP is finalised, implement it across the relevant departments. Provide training to ensure that everyone understands and follows the procedures. This can fail horribly if any key steps are missing, or if you haven't tested it and have to re-write the process manually.

Example: Conduct training sessions for all branch employees on the new customer verification process, ensuring they are comfortable with the steps and know where to find the SOP.

Monitor and Update Regularly

SOPs should be living documents that are regularly reviewed and updated. Monitor the process for compliance and effectiveness, and make revisions as needed. Many businesses fail to adhere to this step, leaving to poor compliance, and meaning that employees have no clear view as to what process needs to be followed when. This is because manual documentation is tedious, so employees and teams often opt to skip it altogether.

Example: Schedule quarterly reviews of the customer verification SOP to incorporate any regulatory changes or improvements based on employee feedback.

Why Choose Fluency for SOP Automation?

Fluency makes SOP creation and management effortless. With its Automated Process Documentation (APD) capabilities, Fluency ensures that your SOPs are consistently followed, reducing the risk of human error and enhancing efficiency. Here’s how Fluency can help:

Automated Process Documentation: Fluency captures and documents processes automatically, all you have to do is hit record and perform the process as you normally would.

Seamless Updates: Easily update SOPs as processes evolve, ensuring that your documentation is always current.

Enhanced Compliance: Automated workflows ensure that all steps are followed, helping you stay compliant with industry regulations.

Improved Training: Use Fluency to make clear the step-by-step processes that a new employee needs to follow as part of their BAU tasks.

Conclusion

Creating effective SOPs is crucial for maintaining consistency, compliance, and efficiency in financial services. By following these eight essential steps and leveraging Fluency's automation capabilities, you can ensure that your SOPs are robust, up-to-date, and easy to follow. Embrace automation with Fluency to streamline your operations and achieve process excellence.

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If any of your questions are not covered here, feel free to Contact Us, and our team will be in touch.

What is Fluency? And how does it work?

Who are the ideal users for Fluency?

Can Fluency integrate with other tools and systems we use?

What support and training does Fluency offer to new users?

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FAQ

Frequently

asked

questions

If any of your questions are not covered here, feel free to Contact Us, and our team will be in touch.

What is Fluency? And how does it work?

Who are the ideal users for Fluency?

Can Fluency integrate with other tools and systems we use?

What support and training does Fluency offer to new users?

How does Fluency ensure the accuracy and quality of the generated documentation?

faq

Frequently

asked

questions

If any of your questions are not covered here, feel free to Contact Us, and our team will be in touch.

What is Fluency? And how does it work?

Who are the ideal users for Fluency?

Can Fluency integrate with other tools and systems we use?

What support and training does Fluency offer to new users?

How does Fluency ensure the accuracy and quality of the generated documentation?