All posts in Document Management


What is an SOP? 16 Essential Steps to Writing Standard Operating Procedures (With Templates)

The_16_Steps_to_Writing_Standard_Operating_ProceduresWhether you’re starting a business or trying to improve an existing one, you have to understand how things are going to get done.

What tasks do you need to do? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?

Working out how these questions can be answered is the first step toward systemizing your business. The creation of processes and workflows will define the way in which your day to day activities function.

One popular approach to this is the creation of standard operating procedures. The simple definition provided by IBM for standard operating procedures is:

…a set of instructions that describes all the relevant steps and activities of a process or procedure.

Simple.

But how do we create these SOPs? What we need are standard operating procedures for creating standard operating procedures – and some standard operating procedure software. And that’s what we’re going to give you.

We’ll look at:

  • How to create a set of standard operating procedures
  • Some advanced techniques for improving your SOPs
  • Why Process Street is a useful tool for both mapping and following your standard operating procedures

Read through these sections to get clued up:

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30+ Free SOP Templates to Make Recording Processes Quick and Painless

Bonus Material: The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation

Every SOP Template You'll Ever Need header

Writing 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.

Read through the following sections to get completely clued up:

Let’s dive in.

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Ultimate SOP Guide: Standard Operating Procedures Made Easy (Free Templates!)

sop templates

SOPs (often pronounced S-O-P) are basically just another way to think about processes. Specifically, with a focus on formally defining the best way of doing something.

In business terms, that means saving time and money by building a clear, concise set of instructions for all of your internal processes. Policies (or standards) are important too; SOPs are kind of like a hybrid of policy and procedure.

Traditionally, SOPs were useful in principle, but often suffered from being difficult to maintain and crucially, hard to enforce. What good is an SOP if it lives its life sat on a dusty stack of paper forms? Your SOPs should be actionable, and that’s where BPM software like Process Street comes in.

If you understand how to build, maintain, and optimize SOPs with software, you can supercharge your standard operating procedures.

In this article, we want to give you everything you will ever need to know about SOPs, including:

Each section will be as concise as possible, with links out to further reading wherever appropriate. Let’s start with the basics.
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Simple SOP Format Guide: How to Write Standard Operating Procedures

sop format

One of the most important things you can offer your customers and employees is consistency.

Your customers need consistency in your products and services, your employees need consistency to help them do their job efficiently, and your company needs consistency in order to continuously improve your policies and procedures.

The best way to make sure that you have consistency within your company is by implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Most companies already have SOPs that their employees follow, but they’re either rarely updated, or they’re never even properly documented to begin with.

This is often because writing, reviewing, and regularly updating your SOPs can typically take a lot of time, especially when starting from scratch.

But thankfully, there are ways to make your job a lot easier.

That’s why in this Process Street article, we’ll go over the general guidelines for the SOP format and other ways you can streamline your processes to help you get started building your SOPs.

We’ll be covering:

If you’re simply looking for a SOP format to get started with, then look no further!
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Service Level Management: How to Manage SLAs and OLAs Masterfully

Service Level Management

When defining, documenting, and delivering services to customers, it can be a little difficult (read: incredibly taxing) to keep on top of everything.

As Philipp Unterharnscheidt and Axel Kieninger at the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute both say:

“IT services supporting business operations are an increasingly critical factor for business success today (Guldentops 2003). The management of service quality, which is the central objective of Service Level Management (SLM), however remains a major challenge for many companies.”Philipp Unterharnscheidt and Axel Kieninger, Service Level Management – Challenges and their Relevance from the Customers’ Point of View

To help companies keep on top of things – and manage their services, service levels, and SLAs and OLAs masterfully – there’s service level management.

This may be the point where you’re thinking “But what, exactly, is service level management? What are the benefits of it? The best practices so it’s done properly? And how would Process Street even help with service level management?”

Worry no more, reader. You’ve come to the right place.

Just read through these sections to get to grips with service level management:

Let’s dive straight in. ⬇️

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17 Service Level Agreement Examples to Track Your Service Management Metrics

service level agreement

In today’s business environment where managed services are constantly being outsourced, creating a concise, official document outlining the terms of an agreement between the client and service provider is critical to setting the foundations for a trustworthy and ultimately fruitful relationship.

“Service-level agreements, amongst other things, bolster trust in and between organizations – making it clear what needs to be done, to what standard, and when.”Adam Henshall, What is an SLA? How to Use Service-Level Agreements for Success

It’s simply an essential component that requires care and attention.

As you may well have already noticed and perhaps even put to good use, Process Street has been creating some excellent content for those of you looking to create first-class service level agreement’s in quick and easy fashion.

For a comprehensive introduction into what an SLA is, exactly what one consists of and why you need them, have a read through the following article:

If you are already familiar with the fundamentals of SLAs and are looking for guidance on how to create and edit one for your organization, you’ll find this post useful:

Bear in mind that the article referenced above also contains a free, easy-to-use Process Street template from which you can create as many service level agreements as you like.

And that’s what this post is all about – providing free, easy-to-use examples in the form of practical templates.

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What is an Enterprise Document Management (EDM) System? How to Implement Full Document Control

What is an Enterprise Document Management (EDM) System-01

82% of companies are still spending billions on remaining paper-based companies, with 1/3 upping their paper usage in recent years.

Why, oh why are businesses still relying on a technology that was invented around 100BC when we have entered an era of artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and digitized documentation?

If you want effective Enterprise Document Management (EDM) strategies, you need to scrap the paper and go paperless.

A bold statement, but a statement that is not unfounded.

  • Paper is costly – costing an average of ~$8 billion annually in management.
  • Paper is wasteful – paper usage does not support the global paradigm shift towards vital sustainability efforts.
  • Paper is difficult to manage – workers spend almost half their time looking for information stored in paper documents.

What you need are digitized methods to store important business information. What you need is an electronic way to manage this.

What you need is a digitized Enterprise Document Management system, and we at Process Street are here to help.

Find out what Enterprise Document Management is, and why Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS’s) serve as good EDM tools. We present to you our top 5 EDMS tools which you can use alongside Process Street for ultimate document control.

Ready to terminate your paper towers? Click on the relevant subheaders below to jump to that section, alternatively scroll down to read all we at Process Street have to say about digital Enterprise Document Management systems.

Let’s get started!
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Operational Level Agreement (OLA): The SLA’s Kick-Ass Sidekick

Operational Level Agreement

Let’s face it.

Delivering stellar services to customers and clients can be tough.

And with villains such as poor communication, stress, and human error constantly rearing their ugly heads, it makes that job even harder.

In fact, a study by Quantum Workplace found that more than 80% of people thought miscommunication happened very frequently, frequently, or occasionally in the workplace, while Identity Guard uncovered that the average American employee makes 118 mistakes per year.

So that mistakes are quashed, miscommunication is thwarted, and that everyone is on the same page so the objectives, targets, and goals defined in your service level agreements (SLA) can be upheld, an OLA is the answer.

An OLA is to the SLA what Robin is to Batman. Superboy to Superman. Chewbacca to Han Solo. And by reading through the following sections in this Process Street article, you’ll discover why an OLA makes for a kickass side-kick:

Now, don your cape and let’s fly through this post! ⚡️
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50 Google Docs Templates for Business Success (With 60+ Process Checklists)

50 Google Docs Templates

It’s 9:00 am.

I grab my morning coffee.

Boot-up my laptop and join the 1 billion others logging into Google Drive today.

Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs; it’s all there.

I go straight to my Google Docs templates folder. As a content writer for Process Street, these templates include planning templates, review templates, and templates designed to record my research.

Suffice to say, as a content writer my Google Docs templates are the veritable pillars of my content creation process.

Oh, thank you, Google Docs templates…

But that’s not all there is to it.

Despite the wealth of convenience my Google Docs templates allow me, I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today if it wasn’t for Process Street.

What I mean to say is, I’ve built up an extremely efficient writing process that combines the convenient templates of Google Docs (via Google Drive) and the clear processes and convenient automation of Process Street.

By integrating Process Street + Google Drive into a simple, repeatable process for content creation, I know I can work productively and consistently meet my content writer duties.

For me…

Process Street + Google Drive = Success

…and in this article, I will show you how you can recreate my process, and build your own streamlined automations.

Click on the subheader below to jump to the relevant section. Alternatively read all and take a well-deserved moment to learn how to improve and refine your business processes.

Let’s get started!
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Enterprise Content Management (ECM): How to Organize Your Content Like a Pro

Enterprise Content Management

Information. Documents. Critical business material.

As businesses scale from a several-person startup to one that’s larger and more robust, it’s important to have a place where all this business-related content can be stored, organized, and easily accessed.

To boot, it’s also necessary to have the requisite processes so all this content is, well, managed properly.

Why?

Because by 2025, the amount of global data created each day will reach 463 exabytes – and the majority of this data will be unstructured.

If a business is not using a centralized repository and doesn’t have the right processes in place, there will be bedlam.

This is why ECM exists.

Enterprise content management (ECM) is the solution for modern businesses wanting to keep content safe, secure, useable, and accessible through its life cycle.

In this Process Street post, you’re going to learn all about ECM, from its exact definition to understanding why it’s beneficial, and learning what ECM tools are capable of and what they’re not designed to do. Read the sections below to get the complete lowdown:

Let’s begin your journey to becoming content with your enterprise’s content management. 📁

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