Human Errors – Standardize Your Team (SOPs)

SOP

Whether you’re in big business, small business or the military, a common theme found throughout all is the use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  SOPs are step by step procedures to ensure consistency when executing a specific task/purpose.  Just the same, SOPs are critical for the preparedness community if you want your people to be razor sharp when it comes to executing critical tasks.

Although SOPs are important for a lone individual, they are even more important if you’re working with a group of people.  If you’re fortunate enough to have family or friends as a preparedness group, you’ll need a better strategy than, “If it hits the fan, we meet at Bob’s place.”  There are tons of variables that might arise such as road closures, miscommunication between team members, unplanned extractions of family, etc.

Face it…

Humans are error prone and forgetful as I previously discussed in my article Knowledge Is Power – Minds are Forgetful.

Additionally, plans never always go as planned.

SOPs will not provide 100% assurance that your plan will go accordingly, but they will help tremendously to have it all out on paper.  It’s better to have SOPs, get everyone trained on them, and just hope that you’ve planned everything out well enough that disruptions are minimal.

Attached at the end of this article, I’ve made for you all a rough draft SOP template in Microsoft Word.

Feel free to download it as it is free of cost.  It has guidelines on how to write the SOP and what information should be captured.

Here’s some top lines when creating an SOP:

  • Before Writing
    • Understand the intent and write with a purpose
    • Use action verbs when writing about who will do what.
    • Get Peer Review from team members
  • During Writing
    • Write clear, simple and concise instructions in step-by step fashion.
    • Balance level of detail with practical use.  You do not want to be thumbing though a 12 page procedure in an emergency.

 Download the OPP SOP Template HERE

Feel free to edit this as you wish as it is a rough draft and is not meant to prescribe all necessary attributes.