Skip to main content

SOPs - the art of mastering the mundane

In the techie curse blog post, I stated the case for SOPs but often in most companies these are non-existent. Ramon Padilla writes on TechRepublic, IT leadership in Master the mundane with SOPs that fit.
"The best run organizations are those which have mastered the mundane.

That is a pretty profound statement because, if taken literally, it means that the organization has perfected its day-to-day activities to such a degree that it is free to focus on being agile and responsive to the forces that affect it in a proactive way.

The path to this mastery is partially through efficient and effective standard operating procedures (SOP). SOPs are defined as detailed, written instructions to achieve uniformity of the performance of a specific function.” In other words, procedures that make sure that inputs to a process result in the same outputs in terms of quality, quantity, consistency, etc.

SOPs by design, should be based on the best way of doing things in your organization, often reflecting the best practices of the industry. Thus, we have a tie-in to methodologies such as COBIT, ITIL, and ISO.

So in general, SOPs are a good thing. However, it never ceases to amaze me how organizations can take a desire to implement best practices and SOPs and completely miss the boat on what they are doing and why they are doing it.

The purpose of SOPs is to make your organization perform better and faster, with higher quality, increased customer service, and accountability. The SOPs ARE NOT the end product, nor are they designed to be so rigid as to make conducting business painful. You know where I am coming from here. I’m talking about the kind of “procedures” that are so cumbersome and time consuming that they make you want to pull your hair out (whats left of it); that make work for people whose only reason to exist in the organization is to enforce the “procedures;” that were designed so long ago they haven’t kept up with the changing organization, or for IT, changes in technology.
 You can download a sample SOP on the download link on the right of this blog.


Popular posts from this blog

Why Madge Networks, the token-ring company, went titsup

There I was shooting the breeze with an old mate. The conversation turned to why Madge Networks which I wrote about here went titsup. My analysis is that Madge Networks had a solution and decided to go out and find a problem. They deferred to more incorrect strategic technology choices. The truth of the matter is that when something goes titsup, its not because of one reason only, but a myriad of them all contributing to the negative consequence. There are the immediate or visual ones, which are underpinned by intermediate ones and finally after digging right down, there are the root causes. There is never a singular root cause for anything but I'll present my opinion and encourage everyone else to chip in. All of them together are more likely the reason the company went titsup. As far as technology brainfarts go there is no better example than Kodak . They invented the digital camera that killed them. However, they were so focused on milking people in their leg

Flawed "ITIL aligned"​ Incident Management

Many "ITIL aligned" service desk tools have flawed incident management. The reason is that incidents are logged with a time association and some related fields to type in some gobbledygook. The expanded incident life cycle is not enforced and as a result trending and problem management is not possible. Here is a fictitious log of an incident at PFS, a financial services company, which uses CGTSD, an “ITIL-aligned” service desk tool. Here is the log of an incident record from this system: Monday, 12 August: 09:03am (Bob, the service desk guy): Alice (customer in retail banking) phoned in. Logged an issue. Unable to assist over the phone (there goes our FCR), will escalate to second line. 09:04am (Bob, the service desk guy): Escalate the incident to Charles in second line support. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Open incident. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Delayed incident by 1 day. Tuesday, 13 August: 10:11am (Charles, technical support): Phoned Alice.

Updated: Articles by Ron Bartels published on iot for all

  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all .  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all . Improving Data Center Reliability With IoT Reliability and availability are essential to data centers. IoT can enable better issue tracking and data collection, leading to greater stability. Doing the Work Right in Data Centers With Checklists Data centers are complex. Modern economies rely upon their continuous operation. IoT solutions paired with this data center checklist can help! IoT Optimi