Customer Experience

Updated On: May 1, 2024

7 Steps to Write SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

Reading-Time 10 Min

writing sops

Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked chocolate cake. But when baking the perfect cake every single time, whether it be a simple chocolate brownie or a fancy molten chocolate cake, you are better off sticking to a standard recipe.

Running a successful business is often like baking a cake. It requires a clear plan and meticulous execution. That’s where standard operating procedures (SOPs) help.   

SOPs ensure business success by standardizing processes like compliance with industry regulations, maintenance of quality standards, and adoption of best practices. 

However, creating on-point, easy-to-follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) can be nerve-wracking. In this blog, we’ll share 7 steps that can help you fast track the process of writing actionable SOPs.  

7 Steps to Write SOPs

1. Define Your Goal 

The first step is to define the goal of your standard operating procedures. Defining a clear goal will help you create a focused SOP, that can effectively standardize routine tasks.  

For example, for a food delivery app, you may create standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the goal of reducing the average order-to-delivery time by 15% while maintaining 99% accuracy in order fulfillment.

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2. Collaborate with Stakeholders 

Now that you have set a goal for your SOP, you need to come up with an actionable plan that is effective and feasible. To do this you need to collaborate and gather feedback from:  

  • C-Level Executives: They set goals for the organisation and can help you create a strategy that aligns with the company’s long-term goals.  
  • Team Managers: They facilitate the implementation of your standard operating procedures (SOPs). Consulting them can help you create a feasible plan from the start.  
  • Ground-Level Employees: They are the ones who use your SOPs and directly interact with customers. It is beneficial to create a group of your best performers along with the ones who struggle. This will help you gather a range of opinions as to what works and what doesn’t. 

3. Identify the End-User 

While various stakeholders are involved in the creation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs), you need to ultimately tailor the content for the select few who will be using it.  

This means you need to understand if your user is an expert or a beginner. This will let you know if you need to explain the terminologies and processes in-depth or briefly.   

4. Choose Your SOP Format 

After identifying the end-user, choose a suitable format for standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure ease of understanding.  

Let’s consider the example that you are creating an SOP for a food delivery app, which will be used by delivery personnel, packaging staff, and restaurant managers. Here are a few formats that you can consider: 

  1. Articles: Create short bullet-point articles that your delivery personnel can easily scan on the go. In just 5-7 steps you can effectively guide them to use the GPS routing, check real-time traffic updates, and handle package tracking. 
  1. FAQs: Create interactive FAQs to assist your packaging teams with issues like rectifying a wrong order, and double-checking order accuracy before it leaves for delivery.  
  1. Step-by-step picture guides: Use visual guides with simple instructions to help your packaging staff easily update, track, and notify customers about their orders.  
  1. Next best action workflows: Develop interactive workflows to guide restaurant managers with next best action steps to handle high order volumes, prioritize orders, and manage kitchen workflow. 

Jupiter Journey of Simplifying Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Delivering Outstanding CX Across Touchpoints with Knowmax  

5. Gather Information 

Next, it is time to capture the right information about the process that you are going to include in your standard operating procedures (SOPs).  

There are multiple ways to gather information regarding the best practices. You can start by reviewing industry standards, researching upcoming trends, and consulting the experts.  

It is also a good idea to conduct on-ground research so that you can identify inefficiencies that might be missed otherwise.  

6. Create the SOPs 

Once you’ve identified your goal, stakeholders, end-users, the best format, and gathered all the necessary information—phew—you’re ready to begin! 

Imagine you’ve decided to create standard operating procedures for your packing team to maintain 99% order accuracy. You opt for an FAQ format to address multiple scenarios, like missing items, incorrect delivery labels etc 

Start by listing all the scenarios you want to include in your SOP. 

Next, consult your style guide for creating standard operating procedures (SOPs). If you don’t have one, now is a great time to develop it. The goal is to make your content easy to understand. 

Keep paragraphs short, ideally 2-4 lines, or use 4-5 concise bullet points. Use simple language and maintain the tone according to your brand guidelines. 

Once your first draft is ready, send it for editing to the relevant stakeholders, and incorporate their feedback.  

7. Implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Now that you have created the SOPs, it’s time to implement them. Here are a few steps you can follow: 

  1. Pilot Testing: Create a sample group of your target audience to test your SOP. Assess how well they can understand and follow your SOP. Analyse the results and note the challenges they face with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).  
  1. Feedback Collection: Next, interview the group to assess the SOP’s resourcefulness in managing common issues and gather suggestions for improvement 
  1. Revision and Enhancement: Based on feedback update your SOPs to clarify any confusing instructions and add missing information.  
  1. Implement the SOP: Roll out the revised SOP across the team. For very large teams, it’s better to implement the SOP in phases to ensure smoother adoption. If your SOP involves complex processes, this step should also include user training. 
  1. Establish a Robust Feedback Mechanism: Setup dedicated Slack channels or regular feedback surveys. This will allow you to keep improving the SOP based on user feedback. 

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Create Actionable SOPs with Knowmax  

Knowmax is an AI knowledge management platform that can help you create actionable SOPs by:  

  • Organising all your organisational information in one place, so that you can easily access the required knowledge and expertise for your standard operating procedures (SOPs). 
  • Simplifying complex processes into next-best-action-steps and visual how-to-guides 
  • Providing feedback mechanisms and micro-segmented analytics to measure and enhance the effectiveness of your standard operating procedures (SOPs). 
  • Providing an in-built learning management system that can help in facilitating a smoother adoption of your SOPs with interactive learning modules.  

Pratik Salia


Pratik is a customer experience professional who has worked with startups & conglomerates across various industries & markets for 10 years. He shares latest trends in the areas of CX and Digital Transformation for Customer Service & Contact Center.

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