Are Your SOPs “Reference-Crazy”?

February 4, 2013

Are your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) "reference crazy"? Learn how to minimize references in your content through ProPharma Group's blog.

While Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) are widely and rightly used to control processes, there is sometimes a tendency within organizations to go “reference crazy”. In a well-meaning attempt to be thorough, a generous helping of references to other SOP’s are placed throughout the text. The resulting tangled-web of references may become so difficult to deal with that writers will compensate by creating less-than-optimal SOP content, further compounding the problem that will eventually have to be addressed.

Fortunately, the frequency and impact of SOP references can be minimized through a disciplined approach to content, and emphasis on the organization’s training program. Writers should keep SOP’s focused on describing (in simple, concise terms) the steps of a specific process. Under this approach, the need to reference other SOP’s might actually indicate poor process definition.  It may also become an opportunity to eliminate redundant (and possibly contradictory) documents.

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