Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) are one of the key parts of any successful business. Basically, SOPs allow businesses to standardize their processes and streamline how work gets done. In this video tutorial, we are going over the elements that are included in an SOP and how to apply it to a living process in ClickUp to facilitate your repeatable tasks.

P.S.: Click the hyperlinked text to go exactly to the part of the video where we mention each feature!

Before getting started you need to list out each step manually, either by recording yourself doing it, getting a transcript from the video, and turning that out into your process, or dumping all of your processes into a document, and then clean it up and put it into this template. This can be done by the business owner or whoever’s in charge of this specific process.

  1. Prerequisites and purpose – Prerequisites are necessary before delegating the process since it works as a checklist. This way, the person being delegated the task knows what they need to move forward before getting started.
  2. Policy – This section has vital information about the SOP, such as annotations that are important to the task.
  3. Procedure and process – One way to present the procedure is by having short sentences that explain each step, bookmarked to the specific step on the Process section. Another way is simply having the process section without the procedure. We recommend highlighting or bolding specific words to help the person following the procedure find something specific. 
  4. Updating SOPs – As your business evolves, your SOPs will need to be updated to reflect the current changes. This action should be done by the person owning the SOP.
  5. Translating the SOPs into processes in ClickUp – In this part of the video, we show how to break down each step of your process and put them into subtasks so you can delegate them to the member who’s going to complete this part of the process.
  6. How to use subtasks vs checklists – Use subtasks for the main steps to complete the whole process, and any smaller steps can be checklist items. Use checklists to make sure you don’t forget any important information or steps.
  7. Other SOPs – Follow these steps to create SOPs for all of your other processes. Doing so will help your business run smoothly on its own and especially, without you being on top of every little task. 

Watch Amalie Show You How To Use ClickUp SOP Tutorial in ClickUp:

Read The ClickUp SOP Tutorial Video Transcript

Amalie Shaffer 0:00
I’m live.

Okay, so today I’m going to do an SOP tutorial talk, I’m going to go over the elements that are included in a standard operating procedure or an SOP. And then I’m going to show you how to translate that into an actionable, kind of living breathing process in ClickUp. The way that I’m going to show you it could be applied to any project management tool, I just want to kind of go over what an SOP can look like.

Now, this is just one way of doing it. So there’s lots of ways to build one, I think there’s some fundamental elements that need to be included in one, whether it looks the way that I’m going to show it or, you know, maybe it looks slightly different. But I just want to go over the elements of it, excuse me, so that when you’re creating yours, you incorporate those things, and then, you know, you can make it look however you want.

So the purpose of a standard operating procedure is to explain exactly the steps that you must take in order to complete a process right, or a procedure. So broken down to tiny steps. And the example I’m going to show you is actually a product that we sell, it’s called the YouTube launch guide bundle template. And it comes with a checklist for launching your YouTube channel based on our experience with launching ours. And then it comes with a YouTube production process, this SOP that I’m showing you right now, it comes with that template.

So what I’m showing you is the actual template, and then I’m going to show you the process in ClickUp on how we took what was in this SOP and put it into ClickUp. Now the main purpose of the SOP is to be able to hand this to someone, and then they should be able to complete the process without a whole lot of micromanaging.

And the other great thing about this is if for some reason your project management tool is down at some point, you should be able to follow this procedure and still complete what needs to be done for, for whatever the procedure is, in this example, would be producing a YouTube video.

So I’m gonna just go over the main parts of it, I’m not going to go through each individual step, but I’m going to show some areas where the details are. A lot of times, what I find working with clients is that their procedures are not as detailed as they should be. And that creates some tension between whoever they’re delegating the process to, and the person delegating, because the person that’s getting the task delegated to them, they have questions, “how do I do this? What are we using for that?”

And the way to avoid that, excuse me, is to have details, is to be a very detailed process. And so I’m just going to go over some main elements here and then we’ll talk about some of the details. So prerequisites you don’t have to put the purpose. I just realized that this says YouTube.

Okay, I don’t think the purpose is necessarily, you know, I mean, you can have it or not, right, but I would have who’s involved, the prerequisite is helpful because it tells you what the person will need prior to completing this process, so it’s something that the person can look through and say, “Okay, do I have access to all of these things?” if not, they need those before they can complete the process or before you delegate. It’s sort of a checklist to tell you “Okay, I need to make sure that this person has access to all these things before I can delegate the process”.So I recommend having that, you don’t have to call it prerequisite you can call it whatever you want.

Policy. I use policy for notes, anything specific. So like in here, we broke down our three types of videos. So we have what we call a keyword video, a tutorial video and a live video. And I just put notes in here as far as like, what’s part of the policy, okay.

And then for the procedure. Now I break it down this way because I think it’s easier to see the shorter, just the title of the step. And then in the process I actually go into like all the minute detail, you don’t have to have procedure and process you could just have, you know, the process without the procedure part.

But the main requirement, I would have a note section like stating any, you know, any specific notes about the process, so I would include that and then I would decide whether you want procedure, process if you want both, or if you just want one, you can’t have the procedure part without the process part. You do have to have something with the minute details, I mean, you could have it without minute details, but then you’re going to end up needing to put minute details in eventually.

Anyway, so those are the main parts of it. So as we go through this, you can see this is just the title of the step. But then the details of it go through here, go through the rest of the document here, the more the detailed steps. Something I do is I highlight or I bold any areas where someone’s looking for something specific, a name of something.

So here this is saying to locate the folder so it’s in the marketing folder in the content database in draft YouTube video assets. And then inside the ClickUp Mastery channel folder, right, so to help catch someone’s eye. I also include links to Google Docs that we have templates for things inside of an SOP and any videos that you make for it, I include the link to those inside of the SOP.

Actually, let me back up for one second, what I didn’t mention and I meant to is that I think it’s really really important to before… Getting this to the place where it was listed out and exact steps with exact instructions took us actually going through it and working through the kinks and actually going through the process manually figuring out what needs to be done. And we put it into like a kind of a messy notes document, and then we cleaned it up and put it into this template that you see here.

So if you’re creating a brand new process, the first thing I would do is just brain dump all the steps that you go through, whether that means you record yourself doing it so and then turning that you could take that video to get the transcript for it and then turn that into the process.

But somewhere you need to start with “Okay, here’s all the things I do in order to complete this process from start to finish with the details”, then you can organize it into chronological order, then you can go back and start to add the additional details, the names of folders, the naming convention for things like those, those smaller details.

But to start, I would have just kind of a brain dump area where you can just dump all of those. I also want to make note that in this process I include and in our processes, I always include the manual steps.

If you have anything that’s automated, for example, when we get new client discovery calls, we have an automation that pulls information from Acuity into ClickUp. Now let’s say that that automation doesn’t work I make a note that if the automation doesn’t work manually, you must go into acuity, find the clients information and copy and paste it into the ClickUp task or create a ClickUp task and then I put the manual steps in there.

So that way if for some reason, the automation’s down you know whatever something’s down the project management tool’s down, you know, we have a backup on what we can do and make sure we can still complete the process.

Okay. Alright, so we’re gonna go through, these are the details step by step. It might seem like I have a lot of extra instructions. But at the end of the day, the more instructions the clearer you are about this, the less time you’re going to have to spend teaching the person looking over their shoulder, you know, walking them through it.

I can hand my team this process and they can complete it with needing very little assistance from me. That’s not to say that they don’t have questions or clarification but whenever I do clarify something, I come in and update it inside the SOP.

So I’m just scrolling through here, just so you can see how I’ve broken it down, I do utilize the bookmarks, because I think it makes it really easy if they’re in here and they need to go to “Okay, I’m on Step nine, I’m just going to go down here.” So then it’ll send me down to Step nine, there isn’t any steps for that. But step 10. You know, there’s additional steps.

Okay, so then that’s the end of the document. So this is putting it together, have the main steps this would be like, our final draft of this. Now, SOPs are living documents, meaning they are going to change, they’re going to get new data, new steps, things like that. And once you’ve delegated the process, once someone owns it, they also should own the responsibility of updating it.

So our operations person owns this process, meaning she manages it, you know, assigns the tasks, makes sure everything’s getting done on time. She’s reviewing things before we do, obviously, I record the videos, but she’s managing the overall process, she tells me, hey, Emily, you need to record the video on this date, you know, and things like that. So if any updates are required for this, she will update this process.

I highly recommend that you, whoever you’re delegating it to, you tell them that they own the process and allow them the responsibility and the room and empower them to own this and update it as needed.

Okay, so let’s go over. So now what I’ve done. So we have this step-by-step process, we have, you know, create the Google folder, assign the subtasks, record the video, edit the video, and submit transcripts, create YouTube design elements, create YouTube copy elements. So these are all the steps.

So from there, once you have this document, then you’re going to go over to ClickUp, or whatever project management tool, and you’re going to actually create the process you’re going to create. And again, I guess not again, I didn’t mention this, but this template that I’m showing you in ClickUp is also included in the YouTube template bundle that I mentioned in the beginning, I’ll put the link in the description of the video. So if you’re interested in purchasing that it’s $37. It comes with the SOP template, it comes with a launch checklist, it comes with this ClickUp list, it comes with two other ClickUp lists as well. So I’ll put that in the show descriptions.

Okay. So what we did was we broke it out into two separate template tasks. Now, these are essentially the process translated into ClickUp. So let’s just I’ll start right here with this one. So in here, what we did, I’ve embedded the SOP. So this is the SOP right here. Now some of these are notes for because this is the template that we actually share. And then it’s broken down into subtasks. So essentially, we took each of these things, because essentially, they are subtasks. I mean, they’re steps, not, there isn’t just one person that does each of these steps. You know, these are different pieces for different members on our team.

So here, we have each of the steps broken down. And then inside of these are going to be checklists for each of the items that we’ve mentioned in the SOP. So each of these smaller things talking about, you know, you’re going to edit the transcript in Otter, that’s what we use is for transcripts, then you’re going to download the text file from Otter, upload it to the episode asset folder.

And these reflect the steps that are in the SOP, the smaller steps. Each of these has the same, you know, has checklist items. But again, I wouldn’t start with trying to build it out in ClickUp, or any project management tool, I would start with building out notes on a sheet, turn that into an organized process with step by step instructions, then take that and translate that into your project management tool.

And the way that I distinguish between checklists and subtasks are: I think about like when we’re looking at these steps to me, this is one whole sort of task per se, right? Step one is like this is one piece of it. And then there are smaller steps to complete the main step. And so for me, I think about it like this, this is a subtask, right? The whole process of one video is the main task, then the main steps to complete it are subtasks. And then any items inside of that, meaning these substeps are checklist items.

I also think about steps is one person completing that, like our operations person is the one that initiates the process, she’s going to create the Google folder and assign those subtasks. Our designer is going to create the design elements, our copywriter is going to create the copy elements. Our operations person is going to upload the captions to YouTube when they’re done being edited. So each of the steps is one person’s actions inside of those steps, or are the actions that that person is going to take to complete that step of the overall process. Hopefully, that makes sense.

If this was one person completing all of this, I think it would be less important to make those things subtasks. They could just be checklist items. If you were working on a process all by yourself, you could make each of these their own checklists, like you could have a checklist, you could even have a YouTube publishing checklist. This is for the person that manages the process, these are just some overall things that need to be done once all these other subtasks are done.

So if you are working by yourself, you could just create a bunch of checklists. But because we have more than one person working on this process, I think having subtasks is better because you can give them due dates, you can assign them, you can give, put their own instructions in them versus if they were just checklists, now you can assign in ClickUp, you can assign checklist items, but you can’t really put due dates on them. And all of these things happen at different times, they don’t happen all at the same on the same day.

That’s another reason why they’re subtasks versus checklist items. Now, each of these subtasks will get completed on the same day, like the designer is going to design all the images on the same day, so she has a subtask. And then the checklist is all the images she’s going to create in one day, if she was going to create design images on two different days, I would probably create two separate design tasks, one for whatever she’s doing on the first day, and then other ones she’s going to do on the second day. You know, things need to happen, like if it’s dependent on something else.

So what I just described ultimately needs to be translated to all the processes that you have in your business meaning onboarding, offboarding, client onboarding, team member onboarding, client offboarding, team member offboarding, any kind of social media management, any repeatable process that you have in your business. Ultimately, I mean, I want to say means but I guess you could do it without it, it’s just going to be really difficult. But it will make life easier, especially with the team, if you have a team or you’re looking to grow a team or whatever.

If you have these things documented one, somewhere in a document, whether it’s on Dropbox, or wherever, or a wiki or you know if use Google sites and you have a wiki or Google Docs or whatever, having it somewhere and then translate it into a living breathing actionable process in a project management tool. Both of those items to me are required in my opinion, because even if you have the Google Doc which is great, then you ultimately don’t have a place to track anything. I mean, you could do in a spreadsheet, but I wouldn’t recommend tracking tasks in the spreadsheet. I feel like that’d be really difficult. But I’m sure people do it.

Anyway, so those are the steps of so let’s just go over it really quickly. So if you have a process that isn’t documented, the first thing I would do is brain dump all of it, you’re gonna just brain dump all of the steps that go into that process, and you can do that by either writing it out on a document, or you can record yourself doing it, and then get the transcript from it or for it.

Then you’re going to take that and you’re going to turn that into chronological order steps, main steps, and then you’re going to add those pieces that we talked about. So who’s involved, any policy notes, prerequisites, whether that’s, you know, you don’t have to call it that, but, you know, requirements in order to complete the process.

And then you need to have, you can have process and procedure, or you can just have a procedure, if you just have the process part, which is the short title of the main step, then you’re missing, ultimately missing the mean of the process, or the SOP, which is the minute detail steps, right, those are the most important things.

So again, record yourself doing it, get the transcript, turned that into the process, or brain, dump everything into a document, turn it into, you know, an ordered, nicely organized, process, adding the steps to it. And side note, you can assign someone else to do that. So if someone’s already doing the process, but it’s not been recorded, I don’t think that you as a business owner has to do it, whoever’s doing the process, what is more than capable of making this SOP, right, because they’re already doing it so they can record themselves.

So when I say, who should do it, it’s up to you, whether you do it or the person that’s, you know, if you have a team member that’s already doing it, once they own it, once you delegate it, they own it, they own the responsibility of maintaining it, updating it, reviewing it, you know, whether that’s once a year or twice a year, I do highly recommend that you review and update your SOPs on a regular basis. Meaning just, you know, if that’s once or twice a year, whatever.

And then once you have the detailed process with notes of how to do it manually, and notes of anything that’s automated, you’re then going to translate that into your project management tool, like I showed in ClickUp, with the steps, you know, the checklists, I would embed, somehow connect or have a link to the SOP so people can easily find it when they’re getting ready to execute that process or a step in the process.

Alright, well, I hope that was helpful. I think this is such an important part of business and management, leadership and growth ultimately. So if you have questions, I’m going to put a link that you can book a call. If you’re looking for one on one support to get your SOP set up in your business or to get ClickUp set up.

And I’m going to include a link to the YouTube launch guide bundled template, which is what I showed you today. So if you’re interested in that, if you’ve been thinking about starting a YouTube channel, we basically took everything that we’ve done to launch ours, all of our research, all of the things that we learned along the way and we just put it all into a nicely organized checklist and then we also put it into a ClickUp list along with the SOP ClickUp list and videos to accompany it.

So again, my name is Amalie, I’m with Systematic Excellence Consulting. Thank you so much for watching. Feel free to leave your questions or comments. And if you get to catch the replay, I will respond to those as they come in. And I thank you for watching. Make sure you subscribe to catch my future videos and have a great day.

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