#process #organization #delegation #predictability #control


A Standard Operating Procedure ia a defined, documented, step by step definition of a process.

SOPs allow processes to be repeated with precision. They are a strong tool of the delegation framework, giving precise guidelines for how to act. They allow predictability. They also reduce the cognitive load on the operator.

A SOP is composed at minima of

  1. What it accomplishes (alternatively, its trigger)
  2. A step by step description of the process, possibly with points of control.

Implementation of the SOP must allow easy repeatability. As such, it can be printed on a stack of paper, or instrumented through virtual task lists.

I use Microsoft to-do for personal SOPs, an example is a check-list for going skiing, or camping with the kids, and contains everything that needs to be prepared and hauled for the occasion. Another example is a list for my evenings, and another for my mornings, when I'm single parenting. Another is an emergency list to determine whether my kid's asthma is ER worthy.

What these allow me is to free my brain from thinking about things I am doing over and over again, so I can focus on the important, and lower the stress of forgetting something for lengthy processes ; or to have a factual guideline to make a decision in the midst of an emotional crisis.