Standard operating procedure is the sop full form. The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for any organization is what it considers to be its most important, core processes or procedures. Any particular SOP can vary depending on the industry, but they are usually the same in large companies.
The name Standard Operating Procedure was originally invented by engineers in World War 2. They used this phrase when discussing major changes to routines so that everyone would know these were significant changes that required high attention and coordination overall between different parts of an operation. They found that with great discipline in execution there could be better outcomes than if these steps weren’t followed. So if someone is designing a new strategy within any company, management will establish SOPs for how work will be done and what to expect from their employees.
Google has SOPs for every area of the office, for each team, and each department. These are typically considered to be ‘internal’ but they can also be ‘published’. Internal simply means that only employees should know about them, while published indicates that others can see or read them if they want to. Google makes their SOPs ‘public’ so that people can get an idea of what they are expecting from their employees.
Google’s VPs will review SOPs on a regular basis to ensure they are still relevant and up-to-date. They will pick out the old, irrelevant ones rarely but they also go through all of them periodically to make sure that everyone is following them well enough. If someone doesn’t follow the procedures then it’s possible that Google could end up with legal problems because not everyone will be doing things right. SOPs should give clear instructions for something to keep Google safe–even if only from lawsuits or government intervention.
SOPs are given titles within Google based on important they are, where they came from, and who they affect. Sometimes the title is changed for standardization across Google or because something becomes obsolete (when a new procedure replaces it) but usually the title is kept consistent after someone makes an SOP with a particular name.
Google’s SOPs are reviewed by their lawyers to ensure that there aren’t any problems related to issues like governmental laws or with high-risk areas of work like finance or product safety areas (which is still very low risk). Google also has their IT department look over them before anything can be published publicly to make sure everything under them will function correctly. Publications within the company only happen if every division agrees that these SOPs should be shared with everyone else. They have whiteboard meetings internally to discuss what they are, how they might work in the future, and to make clear where they are when problems happen.
Google makes their SOPs public on their intranet which is called ‘The Knowledge’. If you were to search Google’s SOPs for “Lock of hair” it would bring up one of them about grooming standards.