You’ve documented your processes by creating detailed standard operating procedures – but where and how do you manage SOPs? Do you use a specific SOP management software? Will Google Docs do the trick?
In this post, we’re going over 3 criteria to look for in your SOP management software, how to make sure it gives your SOP and processes the credit due, and how to make sure your new SOPs don’t just end up collecting digital dust.
Where to put SOPs and other documentation
Once you start to understand how important it is to document your processes, you’ll start to wonder, “Where should I store them?”
Thankfully, there are a ton of options available out there to store your SOPs. We’ll go over some of the basics you need in a storage software and what you should keep in mind as you start to put them together.
The main things you’ll want in a software include:
- Something that is cloud-based (meaning, don’t store your SOPs soley on your laptop!)
- Something centralized (that everyone that needs access, can have access to)
- Something easy to use and easy to update
Criteria #1: Somewhere cloud-based (or stored on the internet)
Cloud-based simply means stored on the internet. Meaning, it’s not on your individual computer and you can access it from any computer with internet access. With virtual teams as abundant as they are today, it’s more important now than ever that the things we need to get work done are easily accessible no matter where we’re plugging in.
Criteria #2: In a centralized location
A centralized location means you can find everything you need within one search bar – and in the same location. That way, you’re not hunting through different software programs to find the documents and SOPs you need.
So for example, try to veer away from storing some SOPs in Use our ClickUp affiliate link! and some in say, Google Docs.
We also want to suggest team-based centralization. That way, your team can access what they need when they need it. Of course, you can set up different views to make sure only certain people can see certain documents, but you don’t want your team to have scattered SOPs all over various software and computers.
Criteria #3: Somewhere easy to edit and update
This one will really help you start to narrow down the software you’re going to choose.
Once you create your SOPs, they are rarely a final document. Things will update and change often, so you’ll need to be able to edit them quickly and easily.
There’s no point in going through the whole process to create and document your processes if no one is going to use them or if they’re not up to date.
The only exception is if you’re creating rigid, inflexible checklists and systems for your team. You can read our whole post on ERP’s: here.
Finding a cloud-based software that fits all of the above
Now, let’s dive into the software options out there if you’re having a hard time making a choice.
Google Docs is one of the more obvious choices out there since it’s a great place to store documents and the editing process is super simple. You could create documents for each SOP or a document for each department or area to use. This one is the easiest and most common choice for most teams.
Some other possibilities:
- Excel – be sure to use the cloud-based option!
- Google Sheets
- ClickUp – gives you the ability to put documents and tasks in the same place (Find out why we don’t use ClickUp docs for SOPs: here)
Keep in mind, before you sign up for new software, take a look at what you currently use in your business. You might already have something that checks the boxes for a great option. That way, you don’t have to spend a long time learning new software and teaching it to your team.
Final Tip: Keep it simple!
Above all else, keep in mind that the easier you make the process, the more likely you and your team are to use it on a consistent basis.