Revisiting the SOP Toolkit

A wise old philosopher by the name of Heraclitus once said “The only constant is change”.  If Heraclitus recognized that in 500 BC, how much truer is it today? Especially in our world of high technology, industry and competition. Change IS constant, and we all have to ride the wave, adapting and re-tooling while in motion. To be competitive, to be safe, and to be responsible we have to evolve new processes.

All this is driving us to deliver more services at ever more demanding levels of quality and accountability, while contending with limited budgets and an aging and increasingly mobile workforce. We are constantly looking for ways to remove inconsistencies and risk from our operations and processes. One of the solutions is to capture and retain the knowledge, skills and best practices, and use them to standardize and train personnel to a high level of consistency.

Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are a key tool in these efforts. Progressive organizations see the value of standardizing work processes, but they don’t always have the in-house expertise needed to create quality documentation. Nor do they have expertise in managing documentation processes. Moreover, most organizations have not factored in the staffing resources needed for developing documentation.

A while back I put some excerpts on this site from The SOP Toolkit, an ebook that I wrote a few years ago. I’ve decided to take that a step further and make the entire book available as a free download – no cost and no strings attached. The book shows you how to successfully set up and execute a process to design, develop and create a library of standard operating procedures. It includes information on how to analyze what you need, develop your own documentation plan, and acquire the tools to create clear, usable and standardized procedure documents.

The ebook includes what an SOP is, what its purpose is, what should be included, and how it should be used. I share the practical lessons I have learned from developing SOPs, manuals and learning materials for a variety of clients in the water and wastewater, mining, manufacturing and educational fields. I also show how to examine your own situation and evaluate your documentation needs. I review a variety of types of SOPs, the difference between content and format, and the need for consistency, standardization, and document plans. The SOP Toolkit also examines the SOP development process–how to assess needs, plan the project, and implement other steps critical to successful completion of the SOP.

The SOP Toolkit actually contains much more than I’ve described here. Click here for a table of contents.

So the question is: “Why am I making the SOP Toolkit ebook available free on my website?” There is no great mystery to it. I’m hoping when you see what is involved in creating great procedure documents you’ll be interested in contracting with my company to get yours done.

I realize that you may get everything you need from the book and do the job yourself. But I’ll take a chance on that, because I think once you see what is involved you will see the value in getting an expert to help. I believe you know value when you see it, and will want the best outcome you can get.

So take a look at the table of contents here, or just go ahead and download The SOP Toolkit here.

And after you read through the SOP Toolkit ebook, I’d ask you to seriously consider dropping me an email (ron@roncjohnson.net) or calling me (306 229-9842). I’d love to talk to you about how we can create or update your procedures to get them to the level you want and need.

Ron Johnson A.Sc.T.

P.S. I also have fully developed, tested, and tried workshops based on the ebook. I can provide a 3-hour introduction to the concepts, or a one-day hands-on, interactive workshop. Both of these will help your personnel develop skills that will maximize the effectiveness of your SOP development process, whether you contact with a technical writer (me, I hope) or not.

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