How To Write A Standard Operating Procedure?


This model is part of the Management, which consists in bringing a company or part of it, of a current situation, to a better future in relation to the first, in aspects of justice and effectiveness. The directing implies a set of activities carried out in space and time, so that the direction has the following content towards which they must aim the capacities of the one that exerts them:

  • Diagnosis of the current or present situation of the organization or part of it and its respective environment.
  • Choose precise and concretizadamente the future situation you want to achieve.
  • To Choose and specifically determine the actions to be implemented in order to move from the current situation to the future (to Design the change).
  • Perform the indicated actions and make the desired change according to the programmed stages.
  • Specify in concrete and operational terms all the above steps.
  • The Future situation must be better than the present in both aspects of justice and effectiveness.

The design of the Formalization of the desirable future situation is considered in this model as a system with interrelated and interdependent elements that, in a sort of cascade, are influencing one another to constitute a harmonious whole. More general Postulations are gaining in operability, they are more and more specified to guide the actions, they enriched in number and nuances to the extent that they approach to the concrete realization.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), “Is the orderly set of objectives, policies and programmes (or plans) of action that, based on what is the company, shows what should be in a specific tomorrow.” It describes the series of activities that must be carried out to know exactly what it is intended to achieve in the company with degree of specialization such that each within the organization can know precisely what it will be appropriate to do, when the Award of the content of the SOP in the different people who form the organization.

SOP Components

The system of Objectives and Policies has four types of basic components:

  1. Philosophy of the Company or Institution (or general policies, or basic strategy).
  2. Objectives.
  3. Policies.
  4. Action Plans.

The order goes from the most general postulates to the most specific related to the accomplishment of the daily activities of the Organization.

Philosophy constitutes those basic, permanent, inspiring and characteristic points of the rest of the system or strategy that comes to explain them, detail them and concretize them specifically for the action.

It Constitutes the essential part of the system and manifests the ideas, constant attitudes, priorities that distinguishes the company or institution in question. The philosophy of the company must indicate, at least, coordinated pronouncements among themselves, defining product/service to generate, technology to be used, market/client to be addressed, type of facilities and equipment, distribution systems, characteristics of the personnel, volume and orientation of the investment, geographical area to cover, etc.

We must also take into account that philosophy, as a basic component of SOP, is the framework and guide for the rest of the strategic planning and all the objectives, policies and action plans.

Due to the foregoing, it is easy to specify and understand that philosophy is observable when within the company or organization it is analyzed how to realize the goals of a company or organization over time, or, if they analyze their basic inspirational postulates.

The Objectives are descriptions of the situation you want to achieve and the results that are expected, duly concretised qualitatively and quantitatively, and in a certain time, so that whoever is responsible knows exactly what is expected of him. These are systematically established according to philosophy, which provides them with coherence and interdependence. Basically, they are concrete, precise results, in specified time.

Policies are norms, pathways, or criteria that determine how objectives will be achieved. They frame and delimit the way of proceeding that has been chosen to achieve the objectives. Each objective needs its policies and sub-objectives, among them.

Specific Action Plans prescribe the activities that will be carried out over time, in a detailed and quantified manner, to achieve the objectives as provided for by the policies that relate to each one of them.

Implementation of the SOP

How to achieve what we intend?

Once we know what we want to achieve, reflected in the SOP we need to accommodate another element of the process of direction: the implementation, that to be able to carry it it is necessary to realise a set of precise activities to be able to achieve it by Consequently, we note that the implementation is divided into two essential parts:

  1. The distribution of the executive action (DEA).
  2. The Progress Processes.

The Distribution of the Executive Action (DEA)

It Is understood from this point the division of what is intended to be achieved, that is, the SOP, in parts in which specific persons are entrusted responsible for the actions in that part consigned.

Consequently, it is the foundation of the structuring of the company or institution winning the objectives, policies and plans to individuals with authority, competence and responsibility within it. Such adjudication is to be carried out according to the capacities of the different individuals, so that the distribution of the performance does not necessarily result according to functions, but according to:

  • The specific capacities of people to better fulfil their role.
  • According to the interests of the particular organization or organization.

It is important to emphasize that all these processes must have systems of coordination, control and information that allow the security that the whole and of each member can know its part, to receive and to give support.

The distribution of the management action implies the determination of executive orders for the different members of the organization, of which they are responsible for carrying out the planned activities, and thus achieve the intended results.

In simpler terms, referring to the distribution of the directive action (DDA) would be like talking about a formal organization, which would consist of the precise, determined and explicit allocation of commissions from the set of goals and objectives of a Entity, which is given to certain persons by reason of its capacities and competence, corresponding authority, responsibility, functions and tasks with respect to such commissions distributed by tasks of interest and levels of authority.

DDA is based on the interaction of four concepts:

  • Existence of an explicit and formalized SOP.
  • The Existence of authority, or the capacity that is given to certain individuals to give unity and compel the action to all others, in achieving the common objectives.

This authority is directly linked to the competition to assume such a driving position.
This competence implies in general, capacities of analysis, judgement, determination and action.

  • The Existence of responsibility that consists in the obligation to attend and to account for the purposes or goals, activities and tasks that correspond to a person, assuming the consequences of his performance.
    Although it is possible for the authority to be delegated to the subordinates, the responsibilities are retained, notwithstanding that the delegated authority also has its own in its sphere of authority and acting.
  • Study of the specific capacities and characteristics of the people to establish their suitability to receive orders, authority and responsibility. Such orders, in order to be operative and fulfilled effectively, require to be adjudicated to the most suitable, to seek them if it is lacking.

The Structuring

The structuring of the company is the formal and explicit expression of its organization, which reflects to us how the different departments of the organization will be designed and divided by reason of greater authority to lower authority, based on the function is its SOP, In addition, delimiting the number of participants, functions, time, products/clients, thus establishing the structuring of the SOP.

One of the characteristics of the structuring is that parcel, divide or section to the Organization for with this to ensure:

  • A better and effective fulfillment of your goals, orders and tasks.
  • Good driving and supervision
  • Maintaining a necessary vertical and horizontal linkage, in order to achieve the overall goals of the Organization as a whole and specify each in the divisions, departments and sections thereof.