So, you’ve listened to the best business advice and built out your standard operating procedures and systemised your business.
Now the clock starts ticking down to keep all these processes followed, updated and relevant.
And the question becomes, how do you do this without having to dedicate a full-time team member to updating SOPs daily?
Well, updating SOPs is a process in and of itself.
Here’s how you do it.
Setting Up Your SOP Update Process
The setup is the most important part of keeping your SOPs up to date.
And that means making sure that all your SOPs are in a systems management system like Notion.
If you haven’t set this up yet, here’s my guide on systems management, including links to the ideal operations manual layout and how I can help set this up for your business.
Part of that setup is making sure that you have a team member who is a “systems expert” who knows how to help update SOPs when needed.
This could be an operations manager or coordinator, and is likely the person who helped you build out your initial set of SOPs to begin with.
They could also equally be a junior person with a knack for organisation and systems thinking.
Have Your Team Run the Process
The easiest way to identify SOP update opportunities is simply to have your team work normally, based on SOPs, and identify potential updates as work is being done.
This looks like the team referencing SOPs as they work, and noticing when something they do doesn’t match the SOP, and flagging it up.
Corollary: If you run an entire quarter without any potential SOP updates being flagged up, it is likely that the team isn’t referencing SOPs regularly.
Types of SOP updates
There are four types of potential SOP updates:
- Update. For example, screenshots that need to be changed.
- Simplification. For example, some descriptions are too wordy and can be simplified.
- Elimination. This is where certain steps are no longer necessary due to an app or process improvement.
- Automation. This is where something was being done manually but is now automated because of a script or app update.
The SOP update process
Simple SOP updates can be updated by the team directly into the SOP, and then a minor notification sent out via Slack to the team.
Complex SOP updates involve substantially changing the process or eliminating it completely.
These types of updates should be polled to the team via Slack first, agreed upon, and then updated if agreed upon.
Complex updates should also be accompanied by a relevant video or live training session.
Get the SOP Update SOP
Want an SOP Update SOP for your own set of SOPs in Notion?
Enter your name and email address here to download and duplicate:
What To Do Next
SOP Updates are not meant to be complicated.
Grab the SOP Update SOP above, brief your team, then start doing them.