Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are well-documented processes or procedures that an organization must keep in place to make sure that products and services are being delivered smoothly and consistently. SOPs are commonly utilized to demonstrate conformity with operational practices or regulations. They are documenting how jobs are to be carried out within any company.

The requirements for SOPs and their formats vary from organization to organization. Requirements of SOPs could also rely on the types of activities an organization is undertaking, or what type of regulations they are governed by.

Why Organizations Need SOPs?

So why do we need standard operating procedures, as SOPs themselves do not necessarily ensure the best performance or a good outcome.

However, SOPs provide assurance of a structure as part of a quality management system and the processes put in place, they ensure professional and qualified workers are carrying out the tasks. SOPs at their best form are very helpful for the right workers in right environment. Furthermore, SOPs help to analyze how work is carried out which can be valuable information if an issue arise. In cases of an issue the SOP is typically updated and improved based on the learnings and become part of a continual improvement culture.

SOPs at their minimum provides following:


The important reason behind the procedures is “consistency” in a way that every individual performs a specific job or activity. The more consistent processes are from person to person, the less chances are of quality problems.

Minimizing errors

The documented standard operation procedures provide detailed instructions of how to carry out any task. If every individual in team performs their tasks as it is documented, there’s a higher chance of minimizing errors.


Another major reason we require SOPs within organizations is for the numerous advantages of communication. With positive changes made into processes, the SOPs are updated. Updating SOPs offers a system to communicate the processes that change to employees of organization.

Benefits of SOPs to Organizations

Getting back to the question of why do we need standard operating procedures, then let’s have a look at the benefits. Numerous benefits can be obtained by adopting standardized processes and documenting the SOPs formally into the organization. Some of the common benefits of SOPs are as follows:

  • To inform workers of all required health, safety, and environmental information to perform their tasks correctly and in a safe manner. Just valuing output while ignoring safety measures may have a high cost in the long run. It is better to train workers in all aspects of performing their tasks than facing fines and accidents.
  • To make sure that operations of production are being run consistently to maintain the quality control of products and processes. Users, from individuals to large companies expect products of consistent quality and in line with the specification. SOPs also clarify the steps to take when performing an assigned task, this help to standardize the process and maintain a consistent quality.
  • To ensure the process goes smoothly and a project or order is completed on time. By adopting SPOs, it aids with avoiding a processes shutdown caused by any damage or equipment failure.
  • To make sure that no breakdown or failure takes place in plants and processes that may cause harm to anyone in the surrounding area. Implementing safety and environmental steps in SOPs add controls against emission and spills that could have an impact on the environment.
  • To make sure that certified procedures are being implemented in compliance with the organization or governmental regulations. Well documented SOPs ensure that organizational or governmental regulations are followed. Furthermore, they also demonstrate the company’s intentions to run their business within the boundaries of the law. In case of an issue, the SOPs will demonstrate to government officials that the organization are aiming to be within compliance of the law.
  • To aid as support for teaching user’s how to conduct a given process in a consistent way. SOPs can be used for newly joined workers and for those who require repetitive training.
  • They can be used as a checklist for workers who assess the work operations to validate the right tasks has been conducted.
  • Support during auditing, where SOPs can be used to validate a task has been carried out as intended.