Developing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – Building Design Functions-Design of Architectural, Interior designing, and Design of MEP.
Purpose of the SOP
The purpose of the SOP document is to provide step-by-step instructions to users to carry out business processes /tasks correctly, uniformly, and efficiently.
Availability of SOP helps accomplishment of the following.
· Reduce training time of employees, business associates like vendors, channel partners end customers.
· Reduce errors in performing business activities.
· Enhance productivity by eliminating role conflicts and providing clarifying responsibilities and time -frames
· Maintain consistency/uniformity across the organization.
· Establish a transparent chain of command
· Meet statutory requirements, if any
What makes SOP comprehensive
To make the SOP document comprehensive, it must include the following aspects.
· Scope of designer's work/roles in great detail
· Stage wise Deliverables /methodology for each design package (Architecture, Interior, and MEP)
· Outline of Resources required like computers, desktops, design equipment, and software
· Inclusion of responsibilities and timelines for activities
· Build in Quality assurances (like segregation of duties) in activities mentioned in SOP vis a vis each type of package
· Risk management framework vis a vis design activities
Developing comprehensive SOP-12 business activities to be performed
The author proposes a cross-functional team comprising the following functions to develop a comprehensive SOP manual.
· Building designers from respective streams like Architectural, Interior design, and MEP
· The construction project team,
· Finance & accounts
· IT/Systems team
A template lists 12 Activities that are required to develop SOP. Considering brevity and to avoid duplication, these are captured in annex 37B on the author's website.
Proposed 4 (four)sections in SOP
For a typical Design function, the author proposes four sections in the SOP manual, as highlighted below, to make SOP Comprehensive.
· Section 1- Processes, business activity narrations, and activity flow diagrams
· Section 2-Associated Documents, manuals, configuration tables, and master data tables
· Section 3-Authorisation manual or its cross-reference in case of separate manuals for each function
· Section 4- Activities for managing emergencies/disaster-like situations
Below are the numbers compiled from 18 chapters on the handbook -volume 1 of the author for design functions and can vary significantly based on the size of projects, number of projects, and size of the organization.
Section 1 of the SOP manual -Contents (91 Processes and 818 business activities)
· Five types of statutory processes with 56 design activities and 82 statutory Acts
· One process with seven activities for each of the three design functions (sub-total 21)for developing configuration tables
· One process with five activities for each of the three design functions sub-total 15) for developing Master data tables
· One process with 11 activities for each of 3 design functions (sub-total 33 )for configuring designer traceability
· One process with 13 activities for each of 3 design functions (sub-total 39)for configuring audit trail
· Two processes applicable to 3 functions with 9 activities for each of the three design functions (sub-total 27)for designing coding schemes
· Nine processes with 41 activities for each of 3 design functions (sub-total 123)for carrying out a risk assessment
· Four processes with 20 activities for each of 3 design functions (sub-total 60)for assigning access rights
· One common process for all functions with 12 activities for each of 3 design functions (sub-total 36)for developing a document storage system for Hard documents
· One common process for all functions with 12 activities for each of 3 design functions sub-total 36)for developing a document storage system for soft documents
· One process with 9 activities for each of the three design functions sub-total 27)for developing budgets
· One process with 8 activities for each of the three design functions sub-total 24)developing the MIS/Performance dashboard.
· One process with 12 activities for each of 3 design functions sub-total36)for developing SOP
· One process with 9 activities for each of the three design functions sub-total 27)for developing financial authority norms
· One process with 11 activities sub-total 33)for each of 3 design functions for developing KPI
However, the number of 91 processes & 818 business activities in the SOP document can be amended as per the actual applicability in the organisation.
Section 2 of SOP -Contents (Documents, data tables, fields, manuals)
· Thirty-eight types of core documents for three design functions.
· Thirty-one types of statutory documents for three design functions.
· Three identified configuration tables, along with details of relevant fields and field choices
· 428 fields for the 13 construction functions (including 109 exclusive fields for 3 design functions)
· 98 common fields are common for all functions, 107 for Finance & accounts part and 43 fields for HR & administrative functions.
· Eight manuals comprising 5 Functional +1 statutory +2 similar types for each of 3 design functions
However, the number of documents, data tables, fields, and Manuals in the SOP document can be amended as per the actual applicability to the organisation.
Section 3 of SOP -Contents (1825 authorisation profiles for assigning to roles)
This section includes copies (hard or soft) of the authorization matrix/manual capturing profiles for the following.
· 325 authorization profiles for accessing 65 identified statutory activities in 3 design functions @5 profile/activity
· 95 authorization profiles for accessing 19 field choices identified @5 profile/field choice in the configuration table
· 280 authorization profiles for accessing 56 fields identified @5 profile/field in the master data table
Total no of profiles identified above =1825.
However, the number of authorisation profiles in the SOP document can be amended per the actual applicability in the organisation.
Section 4 of SOP -Contents-Guidelines for managing emergencies/Disaster like situations -
· This section must contain Policy inputs/directives for all HOD covering aspects such as emergency actions, emergency processes, and emergency documents relevant to this design function for managing emergency-like situations, like Natural disasters, IT/System outages, strikes, riots, terrorism, sudden regulatory changes, sudden non-availability of critical resources, etc
· countermeasures to trigger emergency actions for ensuring business activities in design functions and other interfacing functions
Access to 4 sections of the SOP documents must be restricted and given judiciously with clear-cut rights for creating, editing, viewing, deleting, and approving.
Handbook of the author
More details can be found in chapter 15 (in the author's handbook) titled" ETHICS in the real estate and hospitality industry, Volume 1- Architectural, Interior design, and MEP services.