The word ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ commonly known as SOP, perhaps originated in military or healthcare fields to in still best practices in performing a specific function. SOP is a written document with detail step-by-step instructions to guide and direct the performer of a process or a function.
The intention of SOP is not to only teach someone how to do a work or to impart a skill, but to also imbibe best practices that warrants some sort of standardization in performing a work in a most flattering way. For instance, take a SOP ‘Operating a Car’. This SOP here will not train someone how to drive a car, but it does teach the best ways that shall be followed while operating a car like wearing seat belt, never moving the car while the passengers are within 5 m radius etc.
The three major classifications of SOP are:
- SOPs for different verticals – SOP’s for different verticals are classified such as SOP for Banking, Hospitality, Healthcare, Government, Retail, Supply Chain, Warehousing, Education, Insurance, Capital Markets and many more. The idea of having this classification is that for each vertical there are specific demands while creating SOPs and there are also government regulations with respect to these SOPs in western countries.
- Process SOPS – A process is a set of sequential activities that are carried out in a predetermined order to deliver value and importance to the customers both internal and external. These types of SOPs are made to cover all the activities in a process. In case if the process is performed by a team of people then this SOP is referred by all the people involved in that team. In other words, process SOP has orders for a group of people who perform all the activities involved in that single process.For example, when a SOP is written for Insurance Claims Processing, several people from several departments are involved in this one SOP.
- Role SOPS – A role SOP is particularly written for one person or one particular role within an organization. All the activities performed by a single role are documented under this SOP.
For example, a SOP written for The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India (GOI) has initiated Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY), a special social security scheme which is for more than five million overseas Indian workers who are on temporary work permit in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries.
The scheme endeavours to encourage, allow and assist overseas Indian migrant workers having ECR passports, those working on a valid temporary employment / contract visa to willingly
(a) Save for their return and resettlement,
(b) Save for their older age and,
(c) Attain a Life Insurance cover against natural and accidental death during the period of coverage.
The ones eligible to join this scheme are male and female overseas Indian workers with their ECR passport and aged between 18 years and 50years who are moving overseas or have already emigrated overseas on employment / contract visa.
Union Budget plays a vitally important role in assuring economic stability and growth and so the growth of an economy is correlated to the breach of insurance in the country.
Growth in the economy will lead to higher disposable income that in turn will result in asset creation. Remember it’s only possible when people are not afraid of losing their prized asset that they buy insurance.
Benefits of employing SOP
SOPs are the documents that aid organizations to make the best practices as a part of organizational culture in performing the variety of processes, functions and activities.
The macro-level benefits of SOP are:
- Well defined steps to do a work
- Standardization of activities irrespective of whoever is performing
- Improved safety and security in operation
- Best quality is delivered consistently in a recurring manner
- Easy to train new employees
- Sets a standard on required performance
- Minimizing wastages if any in processes
- A platform for continuous scope and improvement
- A document for management purposes in Court of Law.