Compliance: 3 Reasons Why We Have Standard Operating Procedures

Read Preface Article I: Compliance: What Are Standard Operating Procedures?

In our SOP preface – we explored what Standard Operating Procedures are, how SOP structures differ between organizations, and looked at previous SOP technology.

In this article we aim to explore why we have Standard Operating Procedures and why they are useful to our organization and society.

In the third article we will be exploring 8 considerations to look for in a SOP software solution.

3 Reasons Why We Have Standard Operating Procedures

1.  Mitigate Risk 

SOP define what an organization’s policies are while outlining the steps necessary to respond to the situation denoted in the policy. They become our quick reference guide on the daily in-and-outs on how to perform necessary functions. This becomes especially important given the amount of turnover, promotions, and general human resource movement between organizations. They reduce risk by ensuring employee knowledge and procedures are transferred when human resources are lost or otherwise reallocated. Its the quick guide that serves as the basis for our training materials,  employee certifications, and the reference when an employee is unsure of how to respond in a given situation.

By having a set of SOP that define the personality of the organization, it sets the standards by which the organization requires its constituents to abide by. In this way it mitigates risk by ensuring that all employees are on a level playing field and have the knowledge of how to act in a given scenario. If this information is not communicated to the employee roles become ambiguous and company culture is not cohesive.

Read More About SOP Management in SharePoint

Organizations can mitigate risk by responding to changing conditions and updating the SOP guide as new scenarios and conditions present themselves. In a society that is constantly evolving, especially at the rate of the digital revolution, it is important that a company is agile in a way that they can recognize a new situation, create policies and procedures around that situation, and proactively distribute the SOP to the employee base in an efficient manner. This is also pertinent when the organization recognizes that an internal process that is currently being utilized does not fit with the mission and values of the organization. By having an agile and proactive stance towards SOP creation and distribution, the organization can reduce risk through quick intervention to unscrupulous business practices.

2.  Facilitate Compliance

As technology and global interaction increase, so will the need for regulatory constraints placed on our organizations – we have seen this with the recent increases in regulatory oversight and requirements. Regulatory measures are meant to be placed to require organizations to act within specific boundaries while protecting groups from capitalistic greed, corruption, and ensuring organizational transparency. Alan Watts foretold this well in 1966 before the advent of much of our technology in use today –

We can take an excursion into an aspect of science-fiction which is very rapidly becoming science-fact. Applied science may be considered as the game of order-versus-chance (or, order-versus-randomness), especially in the domain of cybernetics”the science of automatic control. By means of scientific prediction and its technical applications, we are trying to gain maximum control over our surroundings and ourselves. In medicine, communications, industrial production, transportation, finance, commerce, housing, education, psychiatry, criminology, and law we are trying to make foolproof systems, to get rid of the possibility of mistakes. The more powerful technology becomes, the more urgent the need for such controls, as in the safety precautions for jet aircraft, and, most interesting of all, the consultations between technicians of the Atomic Powers to be sure that no one can press the Button by mistake. The use of powerful instruments, with their vast potentialities for changing man and his environment, requires more and more legislation, licensing, and policing, and thus more and more complex procedures for inspection and keeping records (1).

SOP are a product world we live in with progressive technology and the ability to amass information and applications. Regulation organizes our business around processes and values so that there is a method or transparency to the madness. Even incorporating as a business requires specific procedures to have the ability to engage in the business process. It is a fine line between stifling innovation and ensuring fair practices; this is where we look to regulatory agencies and policy makers to weigh all aspects of policy implementation without favor to specific groups. In application, SOP define the policies and procedures necessary to be in compliance with regulatory measures.

Read More About SOP / Policy Management Best Practices


3. Ensure Corporate Cohesion 

SOP are the backbone of the organizational personality that ensures the organization is in compliance while setting organizational culture standards. They provide a method to compare quality to, document an organization’s missions and values, and serve as a reference for the employee. They are the basis of our job titles, our training materials, and hiring standards which become important as human resource effort and organization have an immediate impact on culture success. Without policy and procedure communication to the employee base, there are often multiple ways of processing scenarios that may not be ethical or hold to the organizational standards.

Documentation is an important aspect of Standard Operating Procedures that will always go hand in hand with regulatory compliance. Without documentation there is no basis for our compliance efforts. They record our incidents, our failures, and mistakes so that we can learn from them and take an a proactive approach to creating policies and procedures out of our knowledge learned over the years. Documentation then allows us to pass this knowledge forward.

Read Preface Article: Compliance: What Are Standard Operating Procedures?

Industries served



Policies and procedures protect the intellectual property that educators,


Manufacturing and Retail Industry

Many manufacturing and retail companies have a decentralized business model with



The healthcare industry encompasses a wide range of facilities from hospital


Financial Services and Banking

Every organization in the financial service industry — whether a commercial bank,


Insurance and Employee Benefits

The insurance and employee benefits industry knows more than anyone else


Energy and Utilities

Navigating the increasingly complex regulatory requirements can be tough for



Abide by FAA, DOT, FMCSA, FRA and FTA regulations, educate drivers and third party vendors on guidelines, and streamline overall compliance.

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