Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
SOPs are written processes that describe in detail how to perform a work task specific to your operations. Documenting standards properly allows businesses to comply with regulatory and quality standards, train more effectively, and enable a culture of continuous improvement.
Traditional Work Instructions
Work instructions provide the same benefits of standard operating procedures, but give more detail to the worker in order to instruct on how to complete a task with little to no prior knowledge. In short, work instructions are the how-to guides of your operations.
Training materials are closely related to work instructions, with the key difference being that you’ll want to verify that certain knowledge is retained, and that key processes or techniques are up to safety and quality standards. In this sense, data collections and supervisor signoffs are key components of training documentation.
Standard Work is the roadmap for all processes and business functions. Put simply, it is the living record of the best known practices at the time. In fact Taiichi Ohno, the founder of the Toyota Production System, once said, “Without standards, there can be no Kaizen.”