Who should assist with capturing SOPs? Do your roles change, or are there always key roles for every SOP? At Momentum, we assign four key roles in each SOP. These roles include:
These roles help answer the questions of who, where, when, what and how and set your business-standard.
As you would assume, the Author is the team member writing or capturing what happens in the procedure. But it can be confusing determining whether that should be the Doer too, or a subject matter expert, etc., which is why it’s important to name these roles. The business can determine and separate the role of writing the SOP from the team member/s in your business who might play a part in these roles. So, for example, you could wear two hats and serve in both roles of an Author and Approver.
The Approver is the team member who approves the SOP. You might not need approval or oversight on the procedure and might also be the Approver in those cases. If oversight or sign-off authority is essential and you want to set a standard, then someone in management or leadership should review and provide feedback on the procedure. When you write the SOP, you don’t leave that out or don’t lower that standard. Make it clear that this is our standard and then be clear about what happens when we don’t meet our standards.
The roles of Author and Approver are critical to separate and view them as two separate roles, even if it’s the same person on an SOP. Each SOP might vary by SOP, and you could have different people serving in these roles.
Until now, it might seem that the Author is also the Champion but let’s separate those two roles. The Author is the person who captures and drafts the SOP, but the Champion is the person who understands how the procedure needs to be performed. The Champion is also the person who might have multiple team members performing the same procedure. These team members might do the procedure differently, even slightly, and the Champion can standardize these differences. The Champion can decide to allow it to be performed differently or train all teams to choose how they want to execute the procedure. We usually recommend the Champion selects one way because they have expertise and knowledge of that procedure.
Lastly, we have the role of the Doer or the person performing the SOP. You can write a procedure involving multiple people, and you should explain that Person A does Procedure A, and Person B does Procedure B. But to simplify it, we recommend a procedure be specific to a Doer. So procedure A is for Doer A, and Procedure B is for Doer B. Either way, you want to specify who exactly is it who’s performing the procedure.
By determining roles, they help you create a culture of SOPs or a culture of continuous improvement because of writing SOPs and sharing knowledge.