Standard operating procedures are what companies use to create consistency when a process is performed. The approved procedure is documented in a format that is easy to follow and reduces the chance of errors being made. The idea behind it is to reduce the possibility of human error and to provide guidelines for employees to follow.
The number one reason for these procedures is consistency in the performing of an operation, whether it is in manufacturing or department administration. The more consistent the process is from person to person, the less chance there will be quality problems.
Reduction of Defects
Reduction of defects is another reason for operating procedures. A written procedure is like a set of instructions for performing a task. As long as each person performs the task exactly as the process is written, there should not be any defects.
Another reason for standard operating procedures is a method of communication. As improvements are made to processes, the operating procedures are updated and each update requires new training. This provides a method to communicate the process changes to all employees.
- NMC Online: Standard Operating Procedures
- Andrew Campanella, Materials Manager, 20+ years experience, Logan, Utah
Andrew Campanella has been writing policies and procedures, requests for proposals and purchasing contracts since 1995. He has been published on eHow and Answerbag, where he specializes in business management and process improvement topics. Campanella attended Utah State University.