How to review your SOPs and company documentation. And why it matters
Why on earth would you need to review your SOPs? Surely once you’ve gone through the challenge and effort of assimilating your company processes and SOPs, that’s enough?
SOPs are a vital part of your company’s life force and are bound to change along with the company’s growth.
In our piece titled “Why Smart SOPs are the Next Big Win” we stated regular reviews as a key ingredient in creating the ultimate employee experience .
Apart from a great employee experience, keeping your SOPs updated means you’ll be able to unlock growth quicker, ramp-up new team members quicker and even attract investors.
Great but reviewing your processes sounds like a mission?
The good news is that it’s easier than you think!
In fact, by utilizing tools, the review process can become a seamless process. Here are 4 easy steps to review your SOPs:
- Set a review cadence
- Assign responsibility and use the experts
- Check if it’s fit for purpose (Ask WHY?)
- Utilize technology
Review your SOPs Hack #1 – Set a review cadence
How often you review your SOPs and company documentation is going to depend on a number of factors including how often new team members join, how fast the organization is growing and how much use cases change. They may be additional factors to consider such as regulatory changes or new market influences.
For example, if you’ve recently updated your product, this will impact your development team, sales team, marketing, and customer success team. Now imagine that you’ve had two new members join your team just a week after updating the product: one in marketing and one in customer success? And you have to onboard both of them as well as update the rest of the team?
Now you know why it’s so important to review your SOPs.
You may decide you want to review your SOPs and company procedures monthly or you may decide to do it quarterly or even every 6 months to a year. Whatever you choose, as with most habits, consistency is key.
Review your SOPs Hack #2 – Assign ownership and use the experts
It’s a common trait of entrepreneurs to want to do everything but it’s the reason you built a team in the first place. Utilize the experts you have available in your team to create and improve your content based on their areas of expertise and ensure a culture of continuous improvement.
Clear ownership means consistency even as people move around the organization.
Instead of creating this as a ‘task’ for team members, rather empower them with passion and purpose! When everyone buys into the purpose and vision of the company, they’re far more likely to want to contribute.
Review your SOPs Hack #3 – Check if it’s fit for purpose (Ask WHY?)
In a world of complexity, simplicity is created through one simple question:
Once you know the why, behind your company, you’ll be able to answer the why of SOPs. In the end, we’re trying to create clarity and consistency, not more information.
If your SOP is fit for purpose, your team will want to engage and the information utilized.
Review your SOPs Hack #4 – Utilize technology
Can you see what questions your team has been asking over the last while regarding processes? Do you know what company information was utilized and what wasn’t?
With tools such as Whale , you can track the processes your employees read (and the ones they don’t), so you can drill down on data-led insights to update and improve company processes and help make teams work more efficiently.
Once you know what your teams are searching for, you can use the data to spot gaps in your content. For example, if employees keep searching for ‘How to write an SOP,’ you might want to consider creating some assets to help.
Think templates, how-to videos, etc. It doesn’t have to be a long document. Think engagement over length!
Your SOP review checklist. Does your SOP:
- Reflect the current growth level and status of the company?
- Reflect the purpose, values, and culture of the organization?
- Meet a specific use case and need?
- Help meet a certain organizational objective?
And do your team members love engaging with the content? If your team believes in the mission and loves engaging with the content, they’ll use it!
Mission accomplished! Until the next review!