Business Processes – Process Street

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20 Free SOP Templates to Make Recording Processes Quick and Painless

Every SOP Template You'll Ever Need headerWriting standard operating procedures is a cumbersome task but a serious requirement for businesses the world over.

In many industries it is important to have documentation which shows you have been adhering to ISO guidelines. This can help you clinch major clients and demonstrate your professionalism.

However, when you’re starting out with your first SOPs it can be difficult to know where to begin.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a range of the best free SOP templates for you to work from.

Simply go through the available SOPs below and pick out the one best suited to your needs. We’ve included Microsoft Word templates and Process Street ones too. You’ll also find a guide for writing SOPs to help you get started.

Given that it can be intimidating writing standard operating procedures, we have provided a number of industry specific examples plus suggestions for how you can pull together basic SOPs even if they’re not documented according to ISO standards.

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Standardizing Processes: How to Create a Documentation Style Guide

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From putting together flat-packed furniture to avoiding nuclear war, we’ve talked at length on why processes are important.

They’re the lifeblood of any consistent business, allowing it to repeat its successes, avoid mistakes, increase efficiency, and create effective to do lists. Without them you have no hope of even knowing what you’re doing right or wrong – you’ve more chance of putting together IKEA furniture with no instructions than of improving your situation and growing your business.

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However, without standardizing processes you make, anything you document will do more harm than good.

Different layouts will make it hard to distinguish what the correct version of the process is, varying language across your teams will make working together a nightmare, while multiple naming and storage methods make it impossible to search for the process you need.

So, today I’ll show you how to standardize your processes by creating a documentation style guide which suits your needs. This guide can then be followed whenever anyone in your business needs to document a workflow.

It’s time to unify your company and cement your success.

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How to Create Business Systems Even When You Have No Time

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Processes are our deal. It’s what we do.

Unsurprisingly, it’s what our users do too. They use Process Street to manage their internal processes and keep their teams working at maximum efficiency.

In our constant attempt to understand our users’ needs, we asked the community what their biggest pain points were. We wanted to see what obstacles hampered the process management of companies and how we could help them combat that.

Our research across 83 respondents gave us a great deal of insight but one key takeaway stood out:

42% of respondents said they had no time to create processes.

Even worse, a further 54% of those (23% of the total responses) say they are currently taking no steps to remedy this situation!

How to systemize your business even if you don't have time Rev1-04

This post will attempt to tackle this problem and present actionable ways you can ramp up your process production and save yourself time.

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8 Logistics Management Processes to Perfect Your Supply Chain

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No matter what kind of business you’re in, if you have a supply chain then it’s vital that you have a system of logistics management processes to guide how that chain runs.

Without set, trackable methods for ordering and managing stock, fulfilling customer orders, inspecting your facilities and so on, you’re leaving the success of your business (and the level of waste) up to random human error.

One participant described a customer who used air freight for items that went into long-term inventory. Another recounted how individuals ordered 100 units of a product which they had not even used 30 units of in the previous year. Uncoordinated buying led to different groups in the same facility paying different prices for the same goods and ordering uneconomically small quantities.” – MIT Center for Transportation and LogisticsA Sickly Supply Chain

To stop this kind of inefficiency and needless waste, we here at Process Street have created these 8 free logistics management templates.

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3 Reasons Why Construction Managers Need Workflow Automation (And How to Set it Up)

The following is a guest post by Erin Vaughan. Erin currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.

Most industries have already acknowledged that workflow tools save their companies money and time, while also promoting compliance and accountability. However, in the construction world, contractors remain stuck in the pre-internet era of paper filing systems and faxed work orders.

They keep their schedules in their heads, have a wallet stuffed with paper receipts, and use “fill-in-the-blank” copies of contracts and work orders. It’s the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” methodology to accounting and administration.

However, this highly manual process means tons of opportunities for human error.

There’s the customer who never got a receipt because the original paperwork for her work order was lost. There’s the client who wants special terms added to their contract, all of which has to be handwritten and added to the back of a cookie-cutter contract template — and a thousand more things that can and will go wrong.

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6 Types of Project Proposals That Get Approved (and How to Write Them)

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Project proposals are how you can get management to act on your ideas. They’re the bottom-up version of a project request form.

They are how you can influence your company’s future.

Writing a project proposal isn’t rocket science, but it is a vital skill for being able to successfully pitch projects that you know will benefit your team and business as a whole. Casual conversations aren’t enough – you need to give a formal document which addresses concerns before your manager, CEO, and stakeholders have a chance to voice them.

Plus, having a set template for writing a proposal gives you a document which you can reference throughout the entire project. Instead of having to rely on notes and your vague memory of a water cooler conversation, you have set instructions to follow, and a defense against anyone who says that the project isn’t worth it.

It’s a great example of effective business process management – if anyone questions you, you can show them the project proposal and say “this was approved, and so this is what we’re going to do”.

project proposal - approved by chuck norris

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7 Mistakes That Destroy Your Business Efficiency: An Expert Interview

Lately, we’ve been diving deeper than ever into the real problems companies face while scaling and systemizing their businesses. Whether that’s failing to understand why processes are important, being clueless about how to create processes, or being unable to police process adherence, we’ve covered a lot of ground on our blog. One thing we were short of, however, was the insight of hardcore process experts, real businesses, and our readers.

I got in touch with Jerilynne (better known as MamaRed) Knight, a process consultant of 30 years and an experienced Process Street user. After reading an extremely insightful comment of hers on Ben’s article about operations manuals, I interviewed her over the phone for well over two hours and learned more about the way processes work in the real world than I have from the books or articles I’ve read since joining Process Street in 2015.

Jerilynne has worked for clients of all sizes, from a company of just 10 employees to huge American corporations. What links every company she’s worked with? They waste resources because of grave inefficiencies, and then get concerned about spending money to fix their problems.

“Documented processes are a proven way to make businesses more efficient, but often they don’t want to listen. I remember one executive saying “I don’t know why we have to do this shit. No one reads it”. I leaned forward right up into his face, and I said “do you want to know why people don’t read that shit?”. I told him that people check out the process manual and find it’s too difficult to read, or that processes aren’t applied in a way that slots them into the way people expect to work. There’s no taking shortcuts when it comes to processes.”

In this article, I’m going to share with you a vast wealth of insight, experiences, and tips for improving business efficiency. Here’s some of the most deadly process mistakes to avoid.

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7 Insightful Company Policy Tips from Basecamp’s Employee Handbook

company policy

While we were writing our guide to writing an employee handbook, it was striking how few public employee handbooks there were out there to read. Obviously, most companies don’t want to expose their internal workings, and that’s sometimes for a good reason. However, you can usually trust startups (excluding Uber and Zenefits) to be transparent about their operations.

And, when it comes to transparency, Basecamp’s handbook is an amazing example. It’s both a useful resource for companies looking to write their own policies from scratch, and a genuinely interesting read. In fact, it might be the first interesting company document I’ve ever read.

The handbook got a good amount of buzz and even persuaded 1Password to build an added security feature based on how Basecamp uses the tool abroad. And so, since Process Street is passionate about keeping companies running smoothly (and yes, that does include documented policies and procedures), I thought I’d share with you a few things you can learn from Basecamp’s handbook.

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FMEA: The Analysis Method to Prevent the £100m British Airways Catastrophe

fmea failure mode and effects analysis british airways catastropheBritish Airways chief executive described the incident as “catastrophic” as 800 flights were canceled and 75,000 travelers were affected.

Flight compensation website flightright.com estimated that British Airways would have to pay around €61m to passengers for refunds alone under EU legislation. Add to this the cost of reimbursing angry passengers for unexpected hotel stays and other inconveniences, and the total financial damage to British Airways has been estimated at £100m.

Why? Someone turned their data center off and on again.

The entire airline was down for almost 2 days. This wasn’t a natural disaster, it was a process failure.

In this article, we’ll explore how to spot process failures before they occur using a system called Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). We’ll assess an overview and then delve in deeper to ground our understanding and include a premade Process Street FMEA template to help you run your own assessments in future.

This will leave us with three questions in regards to the British Airways affair:

  1. What happened?
  2. Why did it happen?
  3. How do we prevent it from happening again?

We’ll address each of these questions and look at how a company could employ FMEA in practice to tackle this kind of problem before it arises.

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How to Write a Procedure: 13 Steps to Eclipse Your Competition

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Knowing how to write a procedure is a key skill for anyone looking to build a successful business. Procedures are vital to consistent success for many of the same reasons that processes are important – they let you reliably repeat your successes, isolate and correct your mistakes, and create a business model that lets you scale your operations.

If you don’t know how to write a procedure then you’re dead in the water. Get it right, and the resulting efficiency boosts can put you on track to eclipse your competitors.

Read on to learn the 13 steps to writing your business’ procedures effectively, in a way that they will actually be followed instead of getting read once and then forgotten.

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