how to conduct an SOP audit in your business – no matter what stage of your business you are in
January is synonymous with fresh starts and a clean slate. We work so hard through Q4 to wrap up our annual projects and get all our systems and plans in order to start January fresh and ready to tackle all our new year goals.
While auditing and January just feel like a match – anytime you decide to audit your SOPs is the perfect time.
So let’s dive in because NOW is the perfect time for an SOP Audit
But let’s back up just a little…just in case you are wondering – how do I know if I even need an SOP audit?
Not sure you need an SOP audit?
Think about the following questions….
- do you have SOPs across all areas of your business?
- do you have SOPs to document all recurring tasks in your business?
- are the SOPs you already have created still accurate and up to date?
- what SOPs do you need to create this year?
- are your SOPs accessible to your team? is your team using them?
- how are your SOPs organized? is your organization working for you?
- who is responsible for maintaining your SOPs throughout the year?
2022 is going to be a year of massive growth for you – so let’s dive in and secure your business foundation now.
How to start if you already have SOPs created:
ONE – go through each SOP to make sure all the information is still accurate
take notes of any changes that need to be made. don’t worry about making any edits or updates yet – just make note of anything that needs to be fixed. your OBM can delegate this task to the appropriate team members or do it themselves.
TWO – schedule SOP time
once your OBM assigns SOP tasks – block off time in your teams schedule to review for edits and update SOPs.
also – make sure to block off time in your schedule for you and/or your OBM to review and sign off on all revisions.
THREE -document revisions in your SOP footer
your SOPs should be set up to include information in the footer that indicates when changes have been made and who made the edits. if you aren’t currently creating your SOPs off of a branded SOP template then now would be a good time to transfer your SOPs onto a branded template.
FOUR – make sure all your current SOPs are organized and accessible to your team.
if your team can’t find the SOPs they need when they need them – what is even the point?
organize by – creating one master google doc that links ALL your SOPs, adding ALL your SOPs in one designated shared folder AND linking the google sheet and folder in your team PM tool. the goal is to make the SOPs easy to find.
How to start an SOP audit from the beginning:
ONE – create a master list of ALL the SOPs you need
start by listing out all the recurring tasks of your business. have each member of your team brain dump all the tasks they complete for you – don’t worry about details or steps yet – just make a master list. don’t forget tasks that are less frequent – things like quarterly and annual tasks, on and off boarding team members, business policy updates, website back up procedures, passwords etc.
TWO – prioritize that list
what SOPs will create the most independence for your team? think about the questions your team asks you the most – those are the SOPs that move to the top of your priority list.
THREE – make a SOP creation plan
have your OBM [or you if you don’t have an OBM] delegate who will be creating what SOPs and a deadline for creation. if your team is new to SOP creation, think about creating a loom video to walk them through the process [ or create a SOP for creating SOPs ] or take time during your team meetings to walk them through the process. block off time in your team schedule to create and time in your schedule to review and approve all edits.
FOUR – create a SOP template
creating a SOP template will save you so much time and keep everything streamlined and simple for you and your team.
read these –
Anatomy of an SOP – if you want to learn more about how to set up your SOP template
The SOPs You Need – if you know you need SOPs but aren’t sure where to start
Let’s talk SOPs – if you need a SOP refresher
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And – if SOPs are something you just don’t have the bandwidth to tackle – then a System Assessment might be a great option. Read more about that here.