Why Standard Operating Procedures Are A No-Brainer
Before we get started, let’s recap why you absolutely, unquestionably should take the time to build a Standard Operating Procedures Library for your building operations team:
- SOPs reduce risk by enforcing consistency in all key situations at every building
- You can spend less time telling your team members what needs to get done (and how), and more time focusing on how to grow your business
- Addressing the lack of SOPs at your organization can lead to a 30% reduction in overall costs and a 23% percent reduction in business risk – find out more in our Standard Operating Procedures brief
If you want to learn more, listen to a recap from our session at the BuildingsNY Learning Stage – we talk all about why implementing Standard Operating Procedures across your portfolio is critical and will help your company scale for success.
Activate the Hive Mind
I know – it sounds more like something you might hear in an Avengers movie (no spoilers!), but it’s actually a great strategy for gathering the very best of your team’s best practices. Collecting information from key team members at each property gives you a starting point for figuring out the best way to do things every time.
And it’s not just what your team is doing – it’s how they’re doing it. You can build a survey, schedule team interviews, or spend a day at each property shadowing your team. In any case, putting in the time to build these SOPs will save you countless hours down the road. Plus, getting that initial input from your staff means they’re more likely to buy into your final set of Standard Operating Procedures.
Sketch It Out
Once you’ve got ideas from your staff, it’s time to start drafting your SOPs. Start out with critical procedures or even processes that may be complicated – things your team and company will benefit from the most if they’re organized and standardized. You can always add more SOPs to your Library going forward (and you’ll probably want to, once you start gathering ideas together).
Sketch each SOP out by listing what you want to happen for each specific scenario or process, step-by-step. For example, let’s say your team’s move-out process has several steps that always need to happen, including a review of the lease by the legal department, a final walkthrough inspection with the tenant, and a same-day lock change (among other things). Write down every single one of those steps, along with any key details, for your move-out SOP. Repeat “step-sketching” for each SOP, building out your Library.
Cover Your Bases
Remember the 5 W’s of information gathering? For those of us who weren’t journalism majors, it’s who, what, when, where, and why (with “how” sometimes making an appearance).
These are key questions to ask yourself for each SOP in your Library once you’ve sketched it out:
- Who: Can individual steps in this process be performed by anyone within a team, or do specific people need to handle specific work? How can we manage coverage if anyone is out, or there’s a staffing change?
- What: Is this a unique process? Does it capture everything (every single step) I need my team members to do for this process?
- When: Does this need to be automatically done at a certain interval of time or on a regular basis? Is this a seasonal process, with slightly different steps for each season?
- Where: Is this SOP property-specific, or does the same process apply to all my buildings, portfolio-wide? If my portfolio has buildings in dispersed locations, is this a regionally specific thing?
- Why: Will this help your team make sure the right things are done?
And if you use InCheck, you can create, store, and manage your Standard Operating Procedures Library directly in-app, making it easy to trigger work anytime you need something done (or automatically schedule it on a recurring basis going forward). You can even copy and modify templates developed from property managers around the country.
Questions? We’re happy to walk you through what other teams are doing to build out their Standard Operating Procedure libraries. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.