Why do standard operating procedures matter?
Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are an essential part of any cannabis business. They help a company stay organized, operate efficiently, and communicate to employees how to correctly perform tasks. Check out Cannabis SOPs: 10 Ways They Can Save The Day for more information on why they are important.
Writing and updating cannabis SOPs will be an ongoing project for any successful cannabis business. As processes change or new processes are introduced, you will want to have a plan in place for documenting those changes.
Cannabis SOPs in 10 Easy Steps
1. Choose a format.
Your company may already have a format in use or you may need to create a template. A larger company may use ISO 9000 formatting where a smaller company may use a simpler method. There are numerous template options available online for those that want some extra help getting started.
2. Determine the purpose of the SOP.
Be very clear when deciding the exact purpose of your SOP and keep it in mind as you write.
3. Determine the process steps.
Investigate the process. What steps are currently employed to complete the task? What are the pain points? Where do changes need to be made?
4. Include necessary elements.
At a minimum, a good standard operating procedure will include the following elements:
- The scope of the procedure – This describes the purpose of the SOP.
- The methodology and procedures – These are the steps to follow.
- Clarification of terminology – Define relevant vocabulary.
- Health and safety warnings – What potential dangers should the audience be aware of?
- Equipment and supplies – What is needed to complete the task?
- Cautions and interferences – What could go wrong and how will it be fixed?.
5. Ensure writing is clean and concise.
You want people to understand the message so try to keep sentences short and clear.
6. Add diagrams and flowcharts.
Diagrams and flowcharts are a great way to break up large chunks of text while providing visual aids.
7. Review the process with stakeholders.
The people currently managing or performing the process are a great resource for what works and what doesn’t. Include them in the discussion to make sure the process is feasible and will be used.
8. Test the procedure.
Go through the steps of the process personally looking for places where it could breakdown or be made more efficient.
9. Submit the SOP for approval.
Your superiors will review the process and offer changes or approve the new standard operating procedure.
10. Implement the SOP.
Congratulations! Now that the SOP has been approved, it can be put into practice.