Your Policies and Procedures Manual is also referred to as a Standard Operating Procedures Manual or SOP manual, which focuses on your critical daily tasks that must get done for your business to continue. Many people find it difficult to get started, wondering what to say, who should write the SOP manual or what needs to be included? You don’t need to document everything your business does, just those things that are critical to safe and efficient operations. What do you need to get started?
Policies and Procedures Manual Templates Inputs
Your process maps answer the key questions: what to say, who should write the SOP manual or what needs to be included? Using the process map below, we can see we will need a person from each of the five core processes in the process map. Our Policies and Procedures Manual Templates will have at least one procedure from each of the five areas pictured plus, additional procedures for the support processes (Management, Accounting, IT, HR, Quality).
What do you need to include? You will need to describe the sequence and interactions of each process arrow. Notice product design gets requirements from the customer, product decisions from strategy, feedback from quotes & orders and order fulfillment, and also receives support from the support processes. Product design also provides prototype products to customers for testing and product manufacturing designs to manufacturing for manufacturing engineering, tooling, and setup.
For each arrow you need to mention who provides what to whom and when or how often does it happen? What records, reports and forms are used? Are there schedules to follow, metrics to achieve, or standards that must be followed? Your procedures describe this critical business information.
The Standard Operating Procedure Template
You will want to standardize your Policies and Procedures Manual so that each procedure looks similar to all the others. Using a Standard Operating Procedure Template, you will be able to communicate to everyone the procedure format you want to use to standardize your procedures.
Put together your Policies and Procedures Manual using a logical flow or order to your procedures. Start the operations manual with your process map. List your procedures that explain each business process. Include each individual procedure with references to each record or form needed.
New employees will find your Policies and Procedures Manual especially helpful in getting up and running as fast. To see procedure examples, download free Policies and Procedures samples.