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What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

An efficient and accurate team is the key to scaling operations and profitability. That’s why when your team finds a task rhythm that works, you should write it down!

Chrissy DiBrigida
August 28, 2023
3 min read
SOPs aka standard operating procedures are step-by-step documents that outline how to perform a specific task or process. SOP’s help improve efficiency, safety, and quality. In This blog post learn more about the benefits of SOPs, the types of SOPs, how to write an effective SOP and the importance of keeping SOP’s up to date. 

Benefits of Using SOPs
The power of SOPs go beyond organized processes, in fact there are many upsides to using SOPs, including:

- Reduced errors and accidents: SOPs can help to prevent errors and accidents by providing clear instructions and safety precautions.

- Increased compliance with regulations: SOPs can help organizations to comply with regulations by providing clear instructions on how to perform tasks in a compliant manner.

- Reduced training time and costs: SOPs can help to reduce training time and costs by providing employees with the information they need to perform their jobs correctly.

- Improved employee morale and satisfaction: SOPs can help to improve employee morale and satisfaction by providing them with clear expectations and a sense of job security.

Types of SOPs

The right type of SOP will depend on your business and its procedures. However, SOPs typically fall into four main types. Consider these SOPs:

1. Procedural SOPs: These SOPs describe the steps involved in a specific process.

2. Checklist SOPs: These SOPs list the steps involved in a process, and they may also include additional information, such as safety precautions.

3. Decision tree SOPs: These SOPs use a decision tree to help users determine the next steps in a process.

4. How-to SOPs: These SOPs are very accurate and detailed while still being the fastest to create. All you have to do is perform your workflow and documentation tools like Driveway.app turns your task into a step-by-step guide with screenshots and descriptions for a fast and professional result! Here’s what your sharable/embeddable SOP would look like.
Make SOPs automatically with our free Chrome Extension

How to Write an Effective SOP
It's time to build your document! SOPs are typically written in a clear and concise style, using simple language that is easy to understand. They should be specific and include all of the necessary steps, as well as any relevant safety precautions. Here are few things you should keep in mind:

Start by clearly defining the purpose of the SOP. What task or process is it intended to document?

Break the process down into a series of steps. Be as specific as possible and use documentation tools that provide visual context to your process.

Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand or implement documentation tools that do this for you with the help of generative AI text descriptions. 

Use visuals, such as diagrams or screenshots, to help explain the process and get feedback from others before finalizing the SOP.


The different types of SOPs can be used to document procedures in a variety of industries and for a variety of tasks. By understanding the different types of SOPs, organizations can choose the right type of SOP for their needs.

And after implementing the right documentation tools like Driveway.app your documentation process will reach new heights in efficiency, quality, and compliance.
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