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The Joy of SOPs

April 24, 2015

How to Use SOPs to Cut Expenses, Cross Train Your Team, and Increase Client Satisfaction

You might think that IT problems are too unique to use Stand Operating Procedures, but you’d be wrong. You can use SOPs to great advantage in your business; in fact they can completely transform your business.

Eliminate Vertical Data Silos

If you’re not using SOPs, each employee is a vertical data silo of their own knowledge base and your client’s systems, processes, and people. By creating and effectively using SOPs, you can take all the guesswork out of the ‘rinse and repeat’ functions so that they can be completed by anyone very quickly.

For example, a year ago in November we on-boarded a client with 10 servers and it took my lead engineer 24 man-hours to do the whole job. Before that we were spending 16 hours a server, so it would have taken 160 man-hours.

We went from 16 hours per server to roughly two-and-a-half hours per server. We did more work in less time because we had planned things out, we have SOPs, we use project plans, and we’ve systemized our business. That’s a huge cost savings.

Cross Training by SOPs

For certain technologies, we have our thought leaders. I’ve got a firewall guy, and we’ve just assigned all the firewall SOP’s to him because he’s just so good at them. Another guy writes all the backup SOPs, but we do cross-train each other. We can’t do 100% of what they do, but we can do 90%, and most days that’s enough to keep the business moving and our clients happy.

The point of the cross training is so that other people can help get the work done. I’m good at marketing, but if I’m out sick, travelling, busy, or stuck somewhere, and somebody else has to be able to get the newsletter and the email blast out, we can do it. If I don’t have a computer, it doesn’t mean we have to be crippled.

Email me at raj@brainlink.com if you would like to learn more about SOPs and how they can increase your productivity.

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