On the positive side, you’ll want to ask questions such as: You’ll also want to identify any pain points or obstacles that currently exist within your organization’s processes. Moreover, even if your new SOP aligns with absolute best practices, it won’t do any good if your team isn’t able to access it. Improving standardized work is a never-ending process. Constant clarification of judgment criteria to make confident decisions about. To do this we must control our activities in four specific areas; they are Q.C.D.D. (In contrast, in not having clearly-defined SOPs in place, you run the risk of leaving your team uninformed and unprepared to handle certain challenges as they come about.). (To that point, it’s worth noting that you only need to be specific enough for the intended audience to understand the instructions in question. Standard work is about the work itself. In contrast, even the most talented of professionals may not be able to be productive and effective in their position if not given proper and explicit guidance. When that happens, you need to know that the knowledge and expertise they’ve brought to the organization will stay within the organization. The supervisor’s aim is to have eight hours of standardized work for every employee in her team. You’ll likely refer to a variety of terms, resources, and other documents throughout a given SOP that may require further explanation. As a verb practice is (us) to repeat (an activity) as a way of improving one's skill in that activity. For example, if an SOP is created solely by C-level executives, it may focus more on the goal to be attained than the process required to attain it. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a standardized process that outlines a set of detailed instructions to help workers perform complex tasks properly and safely. This improves the chances of experiencing a positive outcome in a given situation, while also minimizing the chances of encountering any obstacles throughout the process. Third, standard work specifies what you need at hand to get the job done (and what you don’t need in the case of having more inventory than immediately needed), which looks to the conditions you need to be in in order to do the work properly. This is not nitpicking on words, but very specific. Q, C and D are the routine dimensions of customer Delight and are supported by standard work. While companies are free to develop their internal SOP documents in a format that works best for their team, most organizations choose from one of the following formats. Generally speaking, your SOP development team should consist of: You’ll also need to determine who, specifically, will be responsible for actually writing the document. The work sequence to follow. Your team needs to have full confidence that this isn’t a “gotcha”-type ordeal; rather, it’s to better enable them to put their best foot forward, and to be as productive as possible in their contractual duties. The workshop was led by Yoshiki Iwata and Chihiro Nakao. In this section, you’ll be able to either provide this explanation in the necessary detail, or point your audience toward additional resources or documentation for further explanation. Now that we understand what a standard operating procedure is, why it’s important, and the challenges involved in creating and implementing SOP, the next step is to actually write and develop your standard operating procedures. Even after standard operating procedures have been developed, you’ll need to ensure that all stakeholders are able to access and engage with said documentation whenever necessary. 1. Running our processes at Takt time guarantees we match the customer demand rate. In case of an emergency wait for airline staff’s direction and then turn lever one and lever two to open the door. We talk about QA (quality assurance). How will following SOP impact the company’s bottom line? The physical product you provide. There are endless benefits to creating Standard Operating Procedures for your veterinary practice! As we’ve noted, any and all personnel who will be engaging in or impacted by SOP should have some say in the creation of the document. Add this template to your Process Street account and you can customize all aspects of its design, including: Adding or […] -Ed.). Making things better through lean thinking and practice. The necessary conditions to produce good quality must be known and controlled in the. operating procedure is sometimes referred to as a safe work procedure or safe work method statement. I was told at the time it should be seen as the presently best known way of doing the task. In fact, it may be more effective and efficient to use such illustrations in certain circumstances where the written word simply doesn’t suffice. In this scenario, you may have on-the-ground teams completing tasks in a way that may seem efficient, but that isn’t really doing all that much for the business as a whole. Standard operating procedures are more helpful for HR staff when they include details on implementation. A Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) or Safe Work Procedures (SWP) sometimes also known as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be developed and used to instruct people on how operate machinery or equipment safely. The Takt time. Do NOT do so unless expressly directed by airline staff. Making Lean Stick: What Do Lean Leaders Do? To be sure, what works best today may be a rather inefficient way to go about doing things mere months from now. As nouns the difference between practice and procedure is that practice is repetition of an activity to improve skill while procedure is a particular method for performing a task. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? The title page of your SOP should contain identifying information regarding the document, including: (Source. Place your belongings in the overhead compartment for take-off and landing. The most effective way to ensure this is to keep the document in a centralized database that all stakeholders have access to. Clear judgment criteria must allow employees to make judgments about their own quality with confidence. In this case, it may seem like documenting everything your team already knows would be a waste of time, money, and other resources. If the SOP your team follows is outdated or obsolete in any way, continuing to follow it will end up doing more harm than good to your organization. © Copyright 2000-2021 Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. This outlines the step involved in setting up a basic procedure style guide to be used for the particular SOP format or structure that you have chosen. For your organization to run like such a finely-tuned machine (and to avoid falling apart at the seams), your team members need to be on the same page at all times—both literally and figuratively. A procedure tells you what to do in a given situation. Or back to management meetings and action plans. To my mind, the main difference between a procedure and standard work is: Procedures are written by experts. We put the word “final” in quotation marks because, again, what’s considered “best practices” in a given scenario is constantly in flux. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are mandatory for companies that want to build a predictable and profitable engine. This is very important because it states the difference between doing a good job or a bad job (rework, for instance, will lengthen the Cycle time and be revealed). In more simplified cases, these steps will be sequential; in others, the process may involve sub-steps, recursive processes, decision trees, and the like. The standard W.I.P required to enable the process to flow. The flight attendant probably came to you to ask you whether you speak English and then: Or something similar to that. How will following SOP allow the team to better serve our clientele? (During The Way to Lean, a free webinar on the “lean trilogy” approach to deeply understanding and applying kaizen daily, we received the above question plus dozens more that we didn't answer before running out of time. Read the safety brochure to familiarize yourself with the. To look at standard work in a broader sense we need to place it back in the context of just-in-time and jidoka. It’s also worth noting that what’s considered the best course of action for the time being may not always be so. As your team becomes more acclimated to the new processes, you might then begin unrolling the new SOP to “real-world” scenarios. Standard work is the result of the effort the supervisor puts into mastering the procedure (usually written by engineering or another expert department) and turning it into specific work habits to do the job right and on time confidently, every time. The service you provide to support the product. Basically, this means noticing areas of improvement, as well as areas in which more improvements need to be made. ---. Or, you may have a list of business- and/or team-related goals that you’ve been striving for—which, again, will make it easier to solidify your goals for the current SOP at hand. This may only be necessary if the SOP document is longer than a page or two. These factors include legislative changes, technological advancements, and/or shifts in consumer needs. With a knowledge base, you can allow your customers to self-help themselves, thus reducing your customer support by up to 60%. In documenting your SOP, you’ll ensure this info stays within your company—allowing new team members to pick up right where the old ones leave off. More on this in a bit.). When do I need a Safe Operating Procedure? After all, they’re the ones who will be engaging in the procedure at hand, so you’ll want to know with certainty that they understand everything presented within the document. They can be organization-wide, issue-specific or system specific. While there’s no “one way” to go about doing so, you might identify certain team members who are more prepared than others, and allow them to dive in first—then have them train other team members in the specific areas they need assistance with. Knowledge Management a Theoretical & Practical Guide, Using An Internal Knowledge Base To Super-Power, Why standard operating procedures are important, Challenges of developing standard operating procedures, Guidelines for writing and developing effective standard operating procedures, Determining Your Goals for Creating an SOP, Determine the Scope and Format of the SOP, Instructions for proper and safe use of equipment. Standard work’s main purpose is to turn procedures into actionable knowledge to make it easier for each employee to succeed for their customers and in their job. Basically, each subsequent step depends on the outcome of the previous step—and it simply wouldn’t be logical to follow certain paths if a contrasting outcome were to come about. A standard operating procedure is a document providing explicit directions for completing a certain task. Basically, it leaves too much up to chance: There’s no guarantee that best practices will be followed at all times, that all team members will remain in alignment, or that the organization will continue to operate in a positive and effective manner. But, you also may want to have the document reviewed by those with less experience with the processes in question. Imagine if every McDonald's location served their iconic Big Mac differently, sales would plummet. When a company documents its QMS, it is an effective practice to clearly and concisely identify their processes, procedures and work instructions in order to explain and control how it meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. In such cases, the outcome of one step will impact the way in which the team will need to approach each subsequent step. But standard work also gives us CA (cost assurance) and DA (delivery assurance). Piggybacking off the last point, you want to gradually immerse your team in the new SOP (rather than forcing them to dive in). This, of course, can be a sensitive area—especially for long-time employees who are used to going about tasks in a certain manner, and who may not yet see the benefits of making the necessary improvements. Standard Operating Procedures are the top layer. One of the easiest way to write standard operating procedures is to see how others do it. Throughout this stage of the process, all involved parties should take note of any questions, concerns, or other issues they uncovered while reading through the document. My first encounter with the application of Toyota’s concept of standard work was on a cell design workshop organised by Norman Bodek in 1991. In practice, standard work starts where the procedure ends. That said, it’s important that you know who will actually be engaging in the procedures in question, as this will enable you to create the SOP document with these individuals in mind. Second it focuses on work sequence, not actions or activities. The goal is to use as specific language as is needed to communicate instructions in full—and to minimize any ambiguity that may exist within said instructions. The point is, creating SOP provides not only a “true north” for your team to strive toward, but also a clearly-drawn map to guide them along the way. With a standard operating procedure in place for working on specific tasks, you’ll rest assured, knowing business processes would follow outlined steps to completion. In his book on The Toyota Production System, Ohno describes standard work as a special kind of procedure that lists three core elements which had been used by Toyota since before WWII in loom manufacturing: Ohno is assuming many things, such as the fact that all parts are assumed good and so on, but we can see that this differs from a procedure (as in “a series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner”) in important ways: First, there’s a criteria for success: the work must be done correctly in a certain amount of time. Note that SOP documentation is much more involved than a simple procedural document. Three things well-managed practices typically have in common are organized teams, distinct team leaders with defined responsibilities, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This begins with a basic understanding of the hierarchy of these terms and how to efficiently categorize the workings of a management system within them. It communicates an organisation’s values and the organisation’s expectations of employee behaviours and performance. If the total experience of doing business with you is ‘Delightful’, it should ensure they will want to purchase the replacement from your company. (Learn more about how a centralized internal database can better enable your organization by checking out our guide on knowledge management systems.). SOP’s provide consistency. A policy is a statement which underpins how human resource management issues will be dealt with in an organisation. The necessary conditions in terms of components, equipment, tools, capability and other inputs. Processes in which a step-by-step format is likely sufficient include: The hierarchical format for SOPs borrows from the above format in that it involves listing the steps of the process to be completed. In involving team members from all departments and hierarchical tiers in the process of developing SOP, you can be sure that your team is always acting in the best interest of the company. As we’ve discussed, it’s essential to be as detailed and clear as necessary throughout this section of the SOP. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the importance of developing SOP documentation is to consider the negative impact of not doing so. Beyond standard work, standardized work actually describes the very steps (eye movement, hand movement, feet movement) one can follow to do the job with the minimum waste. The number of practices/procedures and the degree of detail will depend on the range of work activities your company performs. When employees follow the SOP for a particular job, they produce a product that is consistent and predictable. Now, let’s discuss in more detail what the process of developing SOP documentation should look like. Below are the general steps to take when writing a standard operating procedure. Using the chosen format, your task here will be to develop detailed, step-by-step instructions for the end-user to follow at every touchpoint. This, in turn, will enable new hires to quickly get “up to speed” with SOP once they come aboard. Depending on the procedure in question, you’ll also want to include any diagrams, illustrations, or other imagery that may supplement your written documentation. Presenter Michael Ballé will answer them, including the response below, in the Gemba Coach column he writes for LEI. Safe work practices . Take a look at the following workflow, for example: Note that, in this example, there are multiple times in which a decision must be made as to how to proceed. What is the difference between standard work and procedures? Definition. Here, you might set up different scenarios in which certain team members play different roles, allowing each individual to get a feel for the new processes. For the sake of argument, let’s say your team already knows exactly how to handle any situation that comes their way—and is always able to do so effectively and efficiently. Without kaizen, standard work soon falls into disuses and reverts to … procedure. As we discussed earlier, an SOP document typically takes one of three forms: Depending on the procedures being documented, you’ll want to determine which of these formats will be most effective in communicating the desired information. This means ensuring they have access to any equipment or other resources needed to complete the tasks defined within the SOP—and that they know how to efficiently and effectively use these resources. As we’ve discussed, certain information will need to be laid out in full in order for your team to be able to adhere to the SOP to be described momentarily. A process usually works at a higher level while a standard operating procedure takes the elements of a high-level process and adds more detail, specific assignments, and workflows to conform with company or industry standards. In addition to any “on-the-fly” noticing, your team should also meet regularly to discuss further plans for moving forward. This is where a standard operating procedure or SOP comes into play. For this reason, it’s vital that these training sessions occur in a relaxed, no-risk atmosphere. Documentation makes it easy for your employee to get up to speed on how to execute The main objective of standard operating procedures is to develop an effective quality system and comply with industry-specific regulations and standards. On the other hand, if created solely by managerial staff, the SOP may not take into consideration C-level goals, such as minimizing resource consumption and improving the bottom line. Not only do SOPs help optimize line productivity and improve product quality. In this article, Dixon Gunn gives details of how to go … In some cases, it may be sufficient to create a simple numbered or bulleted list of steps to take when completing a process. This will allow you to maintain a singular focus within the current SOP document, while also providing the opportunity for the end-user to dig deeper into a given topic should they need to do so. It helps establish things like what are the different steps, what’s the scope, who’s in charge, etc. A standard work procedure is the result of organizing tasks in the best sequence of steps to make the best use of people, equipment, tooling and materials. While a purely step-by-step SOP will list steps 1, 2, 3, and so forth, a hierarchical SOP may include Steps 1a and 1b; 2a, 2b, 2c; 3a, 3b. Simply put: They are a guide to regulated steps that help workers create a safe environment and quality procedures. Let’s see if we can untangle this. Regarding management and maintenance of SOP, there are two main challenges to consider: First, your team will need to be properly trained and prepared as to how to actually implement the procedures in question. SOP Best Practices: How to Manage Standard Operating Procedures Over Time Standardizing operating procedures is a must in today’s smart factory. Unique to each clinic, SOPs are vital to patient care and safety. A safe work procedure is a step by step description of a process when deviation may cause a loss. We can now ‘Delight’ our customers by giving them; Defect free products, delivered on time and in full.