Standard Operating Procedures: Powerful Business Tools or a Colossal Waste of Time and Effort?by Comprose Inc SOP Management Where’s the Real Business Value in SOPs?
When the topic of “Standard Operating Procedures” (SOPs) comes up most people immediately fall into one of two camps: “lovers” and “haters.” For every quality manager, auditor, process consultant, training director and COO who views clear SOPs as the bedrock of efficiency and organizational success, there are just as many if not more “haters” out there. Instead of viewing SOPs as a vital tool and “game plan” to manage and improve their operations, many managers perceive SOPs as, at best, a “necessary evil.” You may be one of them—especially if you’ve watched your organization spend colossal sums of staff time and money creating convoluted, incomprehensible operations manuals and SOPs that only confuse, frustrate, and confound their employees. Despite investing significant time, money and staff resources, many corporate SOP manuals end up unusable, unreadable, and sometimes even dangerous! If you ask, “Where’s the business value in that?,” you’ve got a good point. You might ask, “WHY do it at all? Should we just stop?
SOPs Started as a Way to Prevent Train wrecks—literally!
To answer that question, it’s interesting to consider where the whole idea began. Have you ever wondered who started writing SOP manuals in the first place and why? Well in America at least, it was the railroads—and they did it literally as a way to prevent train wrecks. That’s what scholar JoAnne Yates discovered in her book Control Through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management.
Starting in the 1890s, the railroads and later manufacturing firms “sought to achieve better control of business processes and outcomes by imposing system through controlled communication.” (xvii). In seeking ways of improving safety and efficiency, these industries pioneered the practice of writing standardized policies and procedures down and sharing standard best practices.Standard Operating Procedures: Powerful Business Tool or Colossal Waste of Time Copyright © 2017 COMPROSE 2
Created on Apr 13th 2018 04:40. Viewed 321 times.
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