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5 Best Guides for Developing SOPs

Anyone who ever tried to rewrite or develop their own SOPs has encountered the difficlty of organizing and formatting the documents so that they will be in complience with tha latest requirments of the regulatory agencies. While we offer updated and editable SOPs, here we assembled a list of books that can serve as guidance for those who are interested in developing their own SOPs.

Number 1. Effective SOPs: Make Your Standard Operating Procedures Help Your Business Become More Productive (The Business Productivity Series Book 6)



This easy-to-read book will provide you with basic information on the common principles of generating effective SOPs. The impact of the book would have been stronger had it elaborated more on the use of graphics and symbols.

Included in this book

  • A refresher on how SOPs can benefit your business
  • The idea of writing pairs to write more effective SOPs
  • Creating a ‘SOP map’ to better use SOPs in an ongoing way
  • Linking your daily routines to your SOPs
  • 5 downloadable templates that you can use immediately


Number 2. How to Write Policies, Procedures & Task Outlines: Sending Clear Signals in Written Directions 3rd Edition


The most prominent feature of this guide is a set of guidelines that clearly explain the differences between policies, procedures and task lists. The book is written in easy-to-understand language without being overly simplistic and provides a step by step way to put together a complete manual from start to finish.  Using this guide, the reader should be able to create documents that that are easy for the user to follow and for the management to evaluate. The book provides plenty real-world examples that, in spite of coming from different industries, can be applied to any organization.

Number 3. Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures: Basic primer for writing effective policies and procedures quickly (kindle)


This book is probably the most popular in its category, partially because it is endorsed by the American Society for Quality. The book covers the basics of research, policies and procedure writing and is intended for anyone who is in charge of writing policies and procedures or work instructions. One prominent feature of the book is the 8-section writing format for policy and procedures documents. A Word-based complete template is emailed with the purchase of 1 or more PDF books. There are some typos found in the book, but they do not make the material less clear.

That being said if you are an experienced policy writer you may find this book a bit to basic and get more value from another book by the same author “Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies and Procedures”. Includes samples table of contents pages and sample policy and procedure documents and Word-based templates


Number 4. 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures: Instructional Guide to Filling in Writing Format Template 




This book is the elaboration of Chapter 4 in “Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures.” Among many similar books on policy and procedures writing, this one is probably one of the most straightforward.  The main idea here is the suggestion of the 7-step structure that if followed should allow developing clear and functional procedures. As such this book is probably more suited for individuals who are only beginning their procedures writing mission, and more advanced writers may find this book a bit simplistic. The book brings up and explains several technical points such as concise formatting, style, content, etc. followed by examples.  Some examples point out what styles and formats are inappropriate for use in procedures.

In terms of style and readability, this book may have been a bit shorter since some explanation and points are repetitive the author also spends a lot of time on conveying the importance of well written policies and procedures and thus this book seem to be more suited for novices in procedure writing. The actual explanation of the seven sections does not begin until Chapter 4.


Number 5. Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies and Procedures: Policy and Procedure Streamlining Tools and Processes




Writing effective policies and procedures is incomplete without an effective implementation and compliance assurance strategy. This book is an excellent resource for experienced writers as it deals not so much with actual procedures writing but rather with the challenges of implementation and compliance. The main strength of this book is the continuous improvement approach and the ideas of how to communicate new ideas to the rest of the businesses staff. Importantly it provides ways to assess and validate the effects of implementing certain policies and procedures.

The book provides a chapter on creating a communication control plan, which is key to ensuring your policies and procedures, are up-to-date and relevant to your organization. Another chapter provides guidance on establishing a compliance plan (including ways to perform measurements and validation).

A real-life case study is used to demonstrate the use and the effect of principles described in the book. The case-study leads the reader from a labor extensive process to a new method resulting in savings of millions of dollars. The book does not however provide good assessment on the cost of developing the procedures themselves.


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