By LTC Randy James, Aviation Division, Directorate of Assessments and Prevention, U.S. Combat Readiness CenterSeptember 2, 2020

(Photo Credit: U.S. VIEW initial

As we near the finish of the fourth Quarter of fiscal Year 2020, the year has been fraught v numerous obstacles requiring separation, personal, instance units, aviation, and the together a totality to review exactly how it operates. Even if it is this is early out to changes in the unit mission, in airframes, progression in future upright lift, or the results of COVID, everyone must review how to execute training and also operations within the brand-new environment. Additionally, over the past 6 months, FlightFax focused primarily on the 4th Quarter Spike looking at exactly how we assess, train, and shift our units deliberately. Come be many effective, we should ensure that we codify this changes and also best methods in traditional operating measures (SOP) to keep standardization and continuity throughout our organizations as well as reduce in its entirety workload.

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What is the purpose of one SOP?

According to Joint publication (JP) 3-31, share Land Operations, “a traditional operating procedure is a collection of instructions applicable to those attributes of operations the lend us to a identify or standardization procedure there is no the loss of effectiveness.” Therefore, the function of an SOP is to standardize just how a unit operates v the use of organizational best practices to keep the efficacy that the organization. With the use of one SOP, each individual Soldier has a all set reference come understand just how a unit operates and also how specific tasks space to be completed at a certain unit. The SOP chin clarifies the nuances of operation within the limitations and also challenges particular to each individual unit’s situations to preserve and often improve efficacy.

How does the SOP reduce workload and improve safety?

Standard operation procedures can vastly minimize workload by garnering efficiency in operations. When occurring an SOP, standardization offers common, tested measures for executing certain tasks whether maintenance, administrative, operational or plenty of others in accordance v the best practices the the particular unit and also mission. Additionally, because the procedure is developed in writing and derived from ideal regulations, it provides a single point of recommendation for every Soldiers conducting the task. This process eliminates wasted effort from each Soldier make the efforts to recognize his/her own version the the best means to execute a task. Furthermore, as part of the assessment process, SOPs attend to associated safety challenges to prevent accidental loss, keep assets, and also maintain unit effectiveness. Finally, it eliminates the loss of finest practices because of Soldier sales in the unit. The standardized procedure is codified because that continuity, safety, and efficiency in the SOP.

Is this really exactly how we perform it?

When someone asks the inquiry of “Why room you doing the this way?” throughout a task, plenty of hear the an answer of, “Well, it is the means we’ve always done it.” However, this statement alone doesn’t give a enough answer as unit operational atmospheres change. If an action is in truth the way it has always been done and is the best way to maintain effectiveness, then, it need to be reflected in the unit SOP because that standardization throughout the organization. If the activity is not the most reliable or codified in an SOP, then, the organization have to conduct a reevaluation of the task to recognize the best method to execute and then standardize the process. Following this evaluation, the determined finest practice should then be included into the unit SOP. The answer should never be “That’s the means we’ve constantly done it.” The answer have to be “Because that in accordance with our SOP.”

Over time, the setting of the organization will proceed to evolve through some changes an ext drastic 보다 others. At a minimum, every SOPs have to be reviewed and verified through the change of every regimen manager, coordinator, and/or command to for sure the SOP remains valid. Essentially, whenever the signature block the the SOP changes, the SOP have to be updated. In bespeak to execute this, the reviewer and also signer have to assess exactly how the unit operates offered the many current case or forecasted unit environment and update the SOP. This ensures that the unit remains effective and also efficient.

How has this adjusted recently?

Over the past 6 months, the operational setting has changed drastically as result of the arrival of COVID-19 as part of our everyday lives. It has influenced daily routines, training, and operations as result of social distancing requirements, changing schedules at work, additional an individual protective devices (PPE), transforms in a permanent change of terminal (PCS)/deployment timelines, and other aspects peculiar to every unit. Over time, units proceed to develop new ways to minimize these obstacles and change operations for safety, effectiveness and also efficiency. These difficult lessons learned have provided numerous modified and also standardized procedures that have to be codified in an SOP for every members of the unit to understand. Together the environment and also COVID-19 limitations change, new challenges will certainly arise necessitating a testimonial of the SOPs to it is adapted to the next environment.

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When to be the critical time your unit reviewed its SOPs? SOPs space there to support unit effectiveness, alleviate workload, and also improve safety through standardization the processes. SOPs have to be validated often and updated together the environment, personnel, and standards evolve end time. They space designed to mitigate the must tell each individual Soldier just how to carry out a details task instead of having actually them know, understand, and also internalize a proven, standardization process. Typical operating actions are there to improve in its entirety unit performance.