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  2. A free collection of SOP template examples. Feel free to copy and redistribute to help standardize your processes and procedures.

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  2. Jul 05, 2014 · A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a document . that provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete a specific task properly. An SOP may have several distinct parts to help organize and outline all parts of the process. These parts may include a title, purpose (what), scope (who), responsibility (why), materials, and procedure (how).

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    • Determine Your Goals for Creating an SOP. Before you even begin writing an SOP, you need to have a clear-cut answer to the question of why you’re creating the document in the first place.
    • Determine the Stakeholders and Creators. As we’ve noted, any and all personnel who will be engaging in or impacted by SOP should have some say in the creation of the document.
    • Define the End-User. While a variety of individuals will be involved in the creation of SOP, the actual content of the document will invariably be used by a select target audience.
    • Determine the Scope and Format of the SOP. As we discussed earlier, an SOP document typically takes one of three forms: Step-by-step list. Hierarchical list.
    • Introduction: Driving Toward The Same Goals
    • Defining Systems, Procedures, and Steps
    • Formats For Standard Operating Procedures
    • Developing and Implementing The SOP: People Support What They Help Create
    • Effective Writing
    • Level of Detail
    • Conclusion
    • References

    A successful dairy farm business needs committed workers who complete work procedures consistently and accurately. It also requires all involved to contribute their experience, knowledge, and ideas to constant improvement for the future. This publication describes how dairy businesses can use standard operating procedures to get everyone driving toward outstanding performance and success. Most people naturally want to do a good job. Successful managers recognize this fact and seek to channel workers' efforts in ways that will benefit the business. Well-written standard operating procedures (SOPs) provide direction, improve communication, reduce training time, and improve work consistency. The SOP development process is an excellent way for managers, workers, and technical advisers to cooperate for everyone's benefit. A very positive sense of teamwork arises when these parties work together toward common goals. Standard operating procedures used in combination with planned training a...

    Producing a high-quality product at a profit depends on the consistent operation of all systems within the dairy. The basic systems shared by all dairy farm businesses are a milk harvesting system, an animal feeding system, and a waste management system (see Figure 1). Dairy farm success depends on how well these systems work together to produce large volumes of high-quality milk to sell. Management systems are made up of work procedures. For example, on most farms, milking consists of more than just cleaning and stimulating cows and attaching milking units to them. Before milking can begin, someone must prepare the milking equipment system, usually by sanitizing and changing the configuration from wash mode to milking mode. After all cows are milked, someone must change the equipment back to wash mode and clean the system. Each of these three activities--sanitizing and preparing to milk, milking, and cleanup--are examples of procedures that when put together make up the milking man...

    When writing standard operating procedures, managers can choose a number of different ways to organize and format them. Your goal is to create a document that is easy for the reader to understand and helpful for the work at hand. Two factors determine what type of SOP to use (Figure 3). First, how many decisions will the user need to make during the procedure? Second, how many steps and substeps are in the procedure? Routine procedures that are short and require few decisions can be written using the simple steps format. Long procedures consisting of more than ten steps, with few decisions, should be written in hierarchical steps format or in a graphic format. Procedures that require many decisions should be written in the form of a flowchart.

    The SOP development process is critical to successful implementation of SOPs. It should be an inclusive process that considers the input of everyone with an interest in the procedure's success. Managers who write procedures without input from workers or technical advisers run the risk of upsetting workers and producing a poorly written SOP. Managers who enlist the talents of workers and technical advisers will increase buy-in and produce better SOPs. Most importantly, they will take advantage of an important opportunity to foster teamwork among workers, managers, and advisers. Human nature dictates that people support what they help create. The following seven steps describe a method that will produce excellent procedures and generate maximum buy-in from the workforce. All of the steps are important. 1. Plan for ResultsPlan with the business goal in mind. The goal of a milking SOP is not to ensure that everyone milks the same way. The goal is to quickly and efficiently harvest high-...

    Standard Operating Procedures are instructions that should be understandable to everyone who uses them. Writers should always try to write procedures as simply as possible while communicating well. A complete discussion of grammar and writing is beyond the scope of this paper. For more information, refer to the book Procedure Writing: Principles and Practicesby Douglas Wieringa (see "References"). Write steps as short sentences. Long sentences are harder to understand and tend to include more than one step. Several short sentences usually are easier to understand. Note the following examples: 1. Long:Use your gloved hand to wipe dry dirt and debris from the first cow's udder, or dry with a clean paper towel if the udder is wet. 2. Short: Wipe dirt and debris from the first cow's udder. 2.1. Use your gloved hand to remove dry dirt and bedding. 2.2. Use a clean paper towel to dry the teats and udder if they are wet. Note that the short sentences in the example above are organized in t...

    The level of detail to include in standard operating procedures is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Procedures definitely should include all steps that are essential and that should be performed the same way by all workers. Omitting any of these essential steps may lead to confusion for the reader or performance variation among different workers. On the other hand, procedures should not be so detailed that they are cumbersome and impractical for everyday use. Highly detailed procedures cannot take the place of training. Recognizing this, procedure writers should not attempt to answer all possible questions that a worker might have. SOPs should complement and serve as a basis for introductory training. Excessive detail also is likely to cause resentment from experienced workers. They might feel that management is using the SOP to micromanage every aspect of their work performance. Procedure writers must ensure that they include enough detail to eliminate significant varia...

    Standard operating procedures are powerful tools for seizing control of work procedures. They define the subtle details that make the difference between success and failure in today's dairy economy. In addition, well-written SOPs act as effective communication tools that contribute to worker understanding and job satisfaction. The SOP development process, while demanding, can provide significant performance improvements. When properly and fully carried out, the development process brings workers, managers, and advisers together in a collaborative way. As a result, everyone focuses their abilities on doing the best job possible with the farm's resources.

    Wieringa, Douglas, C. Moore, and V. Barnes. Procedure Writing: Principles and Practices. Columbus, Ohio. Battelle Press: 1998.
    Price, Brenda. Set monitoring protocols for SOPs. Dairy Herd Management, Vol. 38, No. 3, March 2001.
    Cornell Pro-Dairy Staff."If I've told you once…" Northeast Dairy Business, Vol. 2, No. 2, April 2000.
  3. Title: How to Write Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) This is not an approved copy unless stamped in red File Location: Date Printed: Page 3 of 6 • Use job titles and/or functions, not people¶s name. • Written using Plain English guidelines and written using the fewest possible words, phrases and paragraphs. If a procedure has a number of different steps, use bullets to

    • Method
    • Tips
    Choose your format. There is no right or wrong way to write an SOP. However, your company probably has a number of SOPs you can refer to for formatting guidelines, outlining how they prefer it done. If that's the case, use the pre-existing SOPs as a template. If not, you have a few options: A simple steps format. This is for routine procedures that are short, have few possible outcomes, and ...
    Consider your audience. There are three main factors to take into account before writing your SOP: Your audience's prior knowledge. Are they familiar with your organization and its procedures? Do they know the terminology? Your language needs to match the knowledge and investment of the reader.[4] X Research source Your audience's language abilities. Is there any chance people who don't speak ...
    Consider your knowledge. What it boils down to is this: Are you the best person to be writing this? Do you know what the process entails? How it could go wrong? How to make it safe? If not, you may be better off handing it over to someone else. A poorly-written -- or, what's more, inaccurate -- SOP will not only reduce productivity and lead to organizational failures, but it can also be ...
    Decide between a short or long-form SOP. If you're writing or updating an SOP for a group of individuals that are familiar with protocol, terminology, etc., and just would benefit from a short and snappy SOP that's more like a checklist, you could just write it in short-form. Apart from basic purpose and relevant information (date, author, ID#, etc.), it's really just a short list of steps ...
    Keep your SOP purpose in mind. What's obvious is that you have a procedure within your organization that keeps on getting repeated over and over and over. But is there a specific reason why this SOP is particularly useful? Does it need to stress safety? Compliance measures? Is it used for training or on a day-to-day basis?[5] X Trustworthy Source Penn State Extension Educational organization ...
    Ensure document history is documented for every version change. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
    Check if an old version of the SOP exists before you write yours. You may just be able to make a few quick changes. Make sure you still document them, though! Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
    Use simple English to explain the steps. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
    Check for clarity. Make sure there aren't multiple interpretations. Show the procedure to someone unfamiliar with the process and have them tell you what they think it says; you may be surprised. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
    Get people to review your document before getting approval. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
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