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Trends in SOPs

Documenting the Dynamics Between People and Technology 
As technology advances there are more and more functions being performed by software. This change has started to impact Polices and Procedures in very interesting ways. Traditionally, the bigger picture “how to’s” (In Zavanta Speak its called a Process) allowed for the authors to spell out who performed each step. It was always a person. For example the Human Resources Coordinator might have done step 1, then the Human Resources Manager handled Step 2. This is a great way to understand the flow of how something unfolds in a organization, who touches it and what point.
Increasingly though organizations are documenting the interactions between people and software. Often times large pieces of a process are entirely automated and understanding the flow and outcomes of this automation is a both a critical management and training tool. There is a trend emerging where steps are performed by people and technology and its reflected in the polices and procedures of organizations that understand the importance of capturing this flow.
  1. Scan data into SoftwareA
    Who Performs-> Human Resources Coodinator
  2. Populate all employee records fields and send data to SoftwareB
    Who-performs-> SoftwareA
This is truly a shift, where before there was a focus on how to use a given software, there is now the additional layer of understanding what the automated features are and how the interplay with the people in the process. It changes the fundamental question from who does it?, to a broader, yet ironically more specific Who or What does it?
The growth in technology may change slightly the reason for needing a good system and well-written SOPS but it certainly doesn’t diminish the need. Understanding how your business works is critical to successfully managing operations.