The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is A 'Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)'?

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a predefined process used to complete a task or resolve an issue.

SOPs reduce Friction and minimize Willpower: less time and energy spent solving a problem that has already been solved before.

Review your SOPs regularly because they may become outdated. SOPs should make day-to-day management easier, not increase Friction or bureaucracy.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Standard Operating Procedures'

What do you do when a customer has a complaint, or asks for a refund? What happens when you run out of toner for the laser printer? Who take the helm if the manager is out of town and there's an emergency?

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a pre-defined process used to complete a task or resolve an issue.

Business systems often include repetitive tasks, and having a standard process in place can help you spend less time re-inventing the wheel and more time doing productive work.

Well-defined Standard Operating Procedures are useful because they reduce Friction and Willpower.

Instead of wasting valuable time and energy solving a problem that has already been solved many times before, a pre-defined SOP ensures you spend less time thrashing and more time adding value.

Standard Operating Procedures are also effective ways to bring new employees or partners up to speed quickly.

Having a central source of SOPs can help new employees or partners learn how you work far more effectively than informal training. Storing your SOPs in some sort of electronic database is best-it ensures everyone can instantly reference the most up-to-date procedure available.

Don't let your Standard Operating Procedures lapse into bureaucracy.

Remember, the purpose of an SOP is to minimize the amount of time and effort it takes to complete a task or solve a problem effectively. If the SOP requires effort without providing value, it's Friction.

For best results, review your SOPs on a periodic basis-once every three months or so is ideal. If you find outdated, wasteful, or unnecessary work in your SOPs, change the policy. Neither you or your customers are served by unnecessary red tape.

Create Standard Operating Procedures for important recurring tasks, and you'll see your productivity skyrocket.

Questions About 'Standard Operating Procedures'


"The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in."

Paris Hilton, socialite


From Chapter 11:

Understanding Systems


https://personalmba.com/standard-operating-procedure/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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