How to Create a One-Page SOP for Your Business
One of the first questions we get from clients is, why should the SOP fit on one page? There are important benefits to fitting everything in a single view.
- The location never changes, and the current content is always accessible from the same place. Conversely, if you have it spread across multiple documents, people may not have confidence they have the most recent version.
- Readers can easily and quickly scan the content for reference.
- You can break up the content into multiple sections (i.e., onboarding, reference, checklists, etc.)
Also, there are many technology platforms that manage SOPs and regardless of what platform you use, you can apply these concepts.
Now, let’s dive into a One-Page SOP. For our example, we document a control section that includes the names of the people with assigned roles. We recommend including the name of the procedure along with these roles:
- Procedure Name – this is the name of the procedure
- Champion Name – this person is the authority on the procedure. They set the standard and say how the procedure is completed.
- Author – the Champion can be the author but if not, include the name of the procedure author.
- Doer Name – this person performs the procedure, and their job title should be included.
- Approver – this person or group approved the procedure.
There is additional information you can also document in the control section if applicable to your business, including procedure ID, location, etc.
You will also find important document information, which ties to the procedure map through tiered numbering.
For our example, this procedure is how to run a kickoff meeting and is part of the marketing agency employee onboarding program. They include before, during, and after steps for the procedure. You could break each of these into their own procedure, but since the steps aren’t exhaustive, the client decided to put all of them into one procedure.
The Intended Outcomes section is one of the most important parts of defining what good looks or the intended result for this procedure. Now, depending on your controls on a procedure, you would want to detail how that will be measured and controlled.
Remember, the One-Page SOP is a leaping-off point like a table of contents that points to all the related materials you’ll need to perform the procedure.
Our example shows there are Reference Materials, so as you learn the procedure, you should refer to these materials. Also, there’s a compliance policy that is not linked, so you can add planned placeholder content to your One-Page SOP that you can add at a later date. You could add other common types of materials to this section, including instructions, checklists, specifications/look-up charts/details, examples, templates, tools, etc.
Lastly, if you’ll want to include Revision History in your One-Page SOP. As your SOPs are written and revisited, including revision history helps keep track of any changes and the reason for those changes. Tracking the revision history keeps revisions clear and creates a process for your business to manage SOP revisions.
That is it! So let’s review a few highlights you’ll want to remember when you start your One-Page SOP.
- Add hyperlinks to policies, training, tools, templates, examples, videos, etc.
- Specify the intended outcome by defining the result and WIIFM.
- Don’t wait for all of your materials to be included to deploy your procedures. It is better to get pieces out, and the One-Page SOP gives you a place to show everything you’ll need to perform the procedure.
If you want to learn more about creating a One-Page SOP, get access to our free lesson.