Talking Tech: The ABCs of SOPs

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Whether you’re onboarding new staff or implementing a new tech project, a good set of standard operating procedures ensures continuity and efficiency.

Justin Burniske, director of enterprise solutions at fusionSpan, explains how to build a great process document.

Why should associations document standard operating procedures?

Standard operating procedures ensure that staff turnover doesn’t impact your association. SOPs give the new staff a reference point while they are being onboarded. SOPs are also important documents for new technology initiatives. When adding or replacing technology, organizations need to address two key questions: What are the critical business processes in place? And why are those processes in place? Good SOPs will ensure your organization can answer both questions.

What are some tips for creating SOPs?

Ideally, your organization should set aside time to conduct a thorough analysis to identify the most efficient processes. Then, your team should commit to those processes going forward. If time is limited, see if you can divide and conquer: Have each department develop their own SOPs and bring them back to the group. If it’s all on you, get in the habit of asking how something is done.

How often should SOPs be reviewed and updated?

SOPs should be a living document that gets tweaked daily as processes are changed and improved, but that’s a habit only a few associations keep. Alternatively, any time you bring new staff on board, have them conduct an SOP review as they start to work through your processes. SOPs give the new hire great insight into the organization, and the new employee is a fresh set of eyes more likely to identify when crucial steps are missing.

By   Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

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