How to Find An Executive Champion
Many companies dedicate a high-level executive to champion the
SOP process. This ensures that the project is given the attention it
deserves and that line managers give the procedure writers access to
their staff when necessary.
While not every company will have an obvious champion, see if
there is someone you can ˇ®butter up' and help get the project
started. See who would benefit most if there were accurate processes
in place. Show them the cost savings, faster turnarounds, and other
pain points that could be reduced.
But, I don't know how to get started
If you are new to procedure writing, then it's hard to know where
to start. There seems to be some many tasks that need attention.
Well, the first thing to do is talk to those who currently use the
process. This is also called the
As-Is process. In other words, this is how the process works ¨C
warts and all ¨C right now.
One of the barriers that procedure writers face is getting
ˇ®face-time' with those who understand how the procedure works and
those who helped define the current as-is process. Sometimes they
may have left the company and then you have to dig around as best
If the original people are still there, try to contact them in
person. Don't email them or leave a voicemail. Walk over to where
they work and introduce yourself.
'Sorry, I'm too busy.'
You'll hear this a lot. It's understandable. They are already
under pressure from other projects and don't need another to-do
added to their list.
Remember the Champion?
See if you can get the Champion to drop over and give them five
minutes. If you can show the SME that they're not doing this for you
but for someone much higher up the food chain, they may be more
willing to help.
Also, the Champion will ˇ®bend the arm' of those who are holding
up the project or slow to review the material, ensuring that the
project is delivered on time.
As you can see, if you don't have an executive sponsor, your team
are likely to suffer at the hands of unhelpful colleagues. It can be
very demoralizing for the procedure team to chase SMEs who drag
their heels when reviewing the documents. This is likely to lead to
project missing its targets and running over
Once you have backing from an executive level is becomes much
easier to drive the project forward. The endorsement of a senior
figure gives your team that clout to open doors and ˇ®encourage'
others to attend meetings.
Mentioning that the status reports go all the way to executive
level is usually enough to motivate folks to attend workshops or
give time to your team.
Tomorrow we will look at how to start putting your team together.
We will also outline the skillsets they need and the type of
non-writing activities involved in procedure writing.
Confused? It will all make sense tomorrow.
Table of Contents
Before you Start Writing Your Standard Operating Procedures
How To Find Procedure Writers
How to Get a Budget
How To Cost The SOP Project
How to Get Management Support For Your SOP Project
How to Find An Executive Champion
How To Setup the Procedure Writing Team
How To Define Roles in the Procedure Writing Team
How to Create SOP Writing Guidelines
How to Organize the Information Gathering Phase
How to Test the Current As Is Business Process
How to Examine Alternatives To The Current As Is Process
How to Write Standard Operating Procedures
How to Write Your First Procedure
How to Number Each Step in the Procedure
How To Capture Exceptions in
How to Use If Then Tables For Complex Procedures
How to Test Standard Operating Procedures
How to Get SMEs to Test Procedures
How & When to Sign Off the Procedure
How to Publish the Standard Operating Procedures
How to Control Documents
How to Use Track Changes
How to Use Naming Conventions
How to Convert SOPs to PDF
How to Upload SOPs to the Document Management System
How to Create a SOP Document Archive
How to Backup SOPs Archives & Store Offsite
How to Implement Procedures
How to Schedule Assessments
- Process Improvement
- writing SOPs
provides opportunities to refine current processes. Feedback received during this activity
helps identify limitation of the current processes and potential problems that may arise.
- Regulatory requirements - SOPs help
address legislative and regulatory requirements. Developing and maintaining SOPs is an
effective way to address safe work practice regulations.
- Staff Performance - SOPs clearly describe
what staff are expected to perform in the workplace. SOPs remove ambiguity and provide an
objective mechanism for evaluating their performance.
- Standardization - SOPs identify roles and
responsibilities. SOPs clarify decision-making requirements and chain of commands.
- Training material - SOPs can be used in
training programs, workshops and exercises. SOPs improve the understanding of work
requirements and identify potential problems.
Download the SOP Template Pack
The templates included in this pack are in
and Microsoft Excel format. You can download all templates online for only $9.99.
More details about the
SOP template pack are here.
The template pack includes the following documents:
- RFP Pre-Issuance Procedure
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual
- this is used for writing and maintaining multiple SOPs, for example, all SOPs for the HR
- Standard Operating Procedures template -
this is used for writing and maintaining standalone SOPs.
- Standard Operating Procedures Guidebook -
this describes how to write SOPs. The guidebook includes the following
- Writing Standard Operating Procedures
- Level of Detail
- Writing Style and Language
- Writing Conventions
- Numerical Information
- Component Information
- Procedure Titles
- Step Numbering
- Procedure Organization
- Revision Status
- Precautions and Limitations
- Terms, Definitions, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
- Writing Action Steps
- Writing Conditional Action Steps
- Standard Operating Procedures Log Book -
this is used for controlling new SOPs, numbering SOPs, and ensuring that all SOPs are
authorized before creation.
- Excel spreadsheets - these 3 Excel files
will help you manage document control, clarifications that arise during the analysis phase
and monitoring roles and responsibilities.
- Sample template - this sample template
documents the pre-issuance procedure when developing Request for
for $9.99 - Buy