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Create Visual SOP Documents that Drive Process Optimization, Not Just Peace of Mind

Go beyond satisfying auditors to drive process improvement, consistent IT operations, and effective knowledge transfer.

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  • Gary R. Patterson, Vice President – Technology, Quorum Resources, Inc.
  • Thomas P. Uyehara, IT Director, IndependenceFirst
  • Hoc Le, Technical Lead for Transportation Applications Group, Georgia-Pacific
  • Writing SOPs is the last thing most people want to do, so the work gets pushed down the priority list and the documents become dated.
  • Most organizations know it is good practice to have SOPs as it improves consistency, facilitates process improvement, and contributes to efficient operations.
  • Though the benefits are understood, many organizations don't have SOPs and those that do don't maintain them.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Create visual documents, not dense SOP manuals.
  • Start with high-impact SOPs, and identify the most critical undocumented SOPs and address them first.
  • Integrate SOP creation into project requirements and create SOP approval steps to ensure documentation is reviewed and completed in a timely fashion.

Impact and Result

  • Create visual documents that can be scanned. Flowcharts, checklists, and diagrams are quicker to create, take less time to update, and are ultimately more usable than a dense manual.
  • Use simple but effective document management practices.
  • Make SOPs part of your project deliverables rather than an afterthought. That includes checking documentation status as part of your change management process.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should create visual SOPs, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

2. Establish a sustainable documentation process

Create a sustainable documentation process by creating guidelines for naming and documenting SOPs.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prioritize, optimize, and document critical SOPs

Call #1 - Identify undocumented critical SOPs.
Call #2 - Understand the benefits of a visual approach.
Call #3 - Work through a tabletop exercise to document two visual SOP documents.

Guided Implementation #2 - Establish a sustainable documentation process

Call #1 - Establish documentation information guidelines.
Call #2 - Identify opportunities to create a culture that fosters SOP creation.
Call #3 - Address outstanding undocumented SOPs by working through process issues together.

Guided Implementation #3 - Identify a content management solution

Call #1 - Review the current approach to content management, and discuss possible alternatives.
Call #2 - Evaluate options for a content management strategy, in the context of the environment.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Prioritize, Optimize, and Document Critical SOPs

The Purpose

  • Identify undocumented critical processes, and review the SOP mapping process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create usable SOP documentation and identify opportunities to improve those processes.




Prioritize undocumented SOPs and review methodology.

  • SOP shortlist

Review the visual approach to SOP planning.


Conduct a tabletop planning exercise.

  • Mapped current state SOP

Conduct a gap analysis to identify solutions to issues discovered during SOP mapping.

  • Future state SOP
  • Projects/initiatives to address process gaps

Module 2: Establish a Sustainable SOP Documentation Process

The Purpose

  • Review your documentation process and other SOPs to identify potential improvements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Optimize your SOP documentation and maintenance processes.
  • Assign action items to SMEs to improve the documentation process.




Prioritize projects to address process gaps.

  • SOP project roadmap

Define the process for documenting and maintaining SOPs.

  • Document information block
  • Document management checklist
  • Mapped workflow for SOP creation and management
  • Action items to improve SOP creation and management

Module 3: Decide on an Appropriate Content Management Solution for Your SOPs

The Purpose

  • Review content management solutions.
  • Plan and run an SOP working session.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Choose a content management solution that meets your needs.
  • Put a dent in your documentation backlog.




Run an SOP working session with SMEs.

  • Multiple mapped SOPs
  • SOP Project Roadmap

Review options for a content management strategy.

  • Identify a content management strategy that fits your needs

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.




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