Here’s the perfect way to start writing your own work procedures. Download our FREE Work Procedure Template, suitable for MS Word. It has been set up with a layout that is easy for users of an SOP to follow and with Word styles for consistent formatting.
Putting information inside a table keeps the layout looking neat, as long as you follow the guidelines and give each photo its own cell. Suggested headings give you an idea of the type of information you need to include and where to put it.
Copy and paste the callout box and use it to point out the features of every image you use. Copy and paste the safety icons you need and delete the rest. Use symbols to highlight critical steps or steps that are necessary to keep people safe.
Writing good SOPs, work procedures or instructions requires a lot more than feeding information into a work procedure template. You need to be selective about the information you include, use the imperative to give instructions, write succinctly, minimising words, and use images that complement the instructions.
Keep your work procedure as short as possible if you want people to actually read it. Nothing turns people off more than a long scroll of a procedure, or a thick sheaf of pages. It’s hard enough to get people to read procedures, let alone follow them, so make them as easy as possible to read. Less is more.
This template works just as well for physical tasks or administrative procedures. For admin procedures, use screenshots, but crop them or keep them small and use callouts to show where to enter info.
Techwriting has been creating work procedures, SOPs, work instructions and training materials for more than 20 years in a broad range of industries.