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

(Photo Credit: U.S. VIEW initial

As we close to the finish of the 4th Quarter of fiscal Year 2020, the year has actually been fraught v numerous difficulties requiring separation, personal, instance units, aviation, and also the as a entirety to review just how it operates. Even if it is this is due to alters in the unit mission, in airframes, development in future vertical lift, or the outcomes of COVID, everyone need to review exactly how to execute training and operations within the brand-new environment. Additionally, over the previous 6 months, FlightFax focused primarily on the 4th Quarter Spike spring at exactly how we assess, train, and transition our units deliberately. To be most effective, we have to ensure that us codify these changes and also best practices in standard operating measures (SOP) to preserve standardization and continuity across our organizations as well as reduce all at once workload.

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What is the purpose of an SOP?

According to Joint publishing (JP) 3-31, joint Land Operations, “a typical operating procedure is a set of indict applicable come those functions 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 exactly how a unit operates through the usage of organizational finest practices to keep the efficacy that the organization. V the usage of an SOP, every individual Soldier has a all set reference come understand exactly how a unit operates and how particular tasks room to be completed at a specific unit. The SOP itself clarifies the nuances of operating within the limitations and also challenges specific to each individual unit’s circumstances to preserve and often improve efficacy.

How go the SOP reduce workload and also improve safety?

Standard operation procedures deserve to vastly mitigate workload through garnering performance in operations. When occurring an SOP, standardization gives common, tested steps for executing particular tasks even if it is maintenance, administrative, operational or countless others in accordance through the ideal practices the the particular unit and also mission. Additionally, because the procedure is developed in writing and derived from proper regulations, it provides a solitary point of recommendation for all Soldiers conducting the task. This procedure eliminates wasted initiative from every Soldier do the efforts to determine his/her very own version the the best means to execute a task. Furthermore, as component of the evaluate process, SOPs deal with associated safety difficulties to prevent accidental loss, keep assets, and maintain unit effectiveness. Finally, it eliminates the lose of ideal practices because of Soldier sales in the unit. The standardization procedure is codified for continuity, safety, and also efficiency in the SOP.

Is this really exactly how we perform it?

When who asks the inquiry of “Why are you doing it this way?” throughout a task, countless hear the response of, “Well, it is the way we’ve constantly done it.” However, this statement alone doesn’t provide a enough answer together unit operational environments change. If an action is in truth the way it has constantly been done and is the best way to keep effectiveness, then, it must be reflected in the unit SOP for standardization across the organization. If the action is no the most efficient or codified in an SOP, then, the organization should conduct a reevaluation that the task to identify the best method to execute and also then standardize the process. Complying with this evaluation, the determined ideal practice need to then be included into the unit SOP. The answer need to never be “That’s the method we’ve always done it.” The answer have to be “Because the in accordance v our SOP.”

Over time, the atmosphere of the company will proceed to evolve with some changes much more drastic than others. At a minimum, every SOPs need to be reviewed and also verified with the adjust of every regime manager, coordinator, and/or commander to certain the SOP remains valid. Essentially, whenever the signature block the the SOP changes, the SOP should be updated. In bespeak to do this, the reviewer and signer need to assess how the unit operates offered the many current situation or forecast unit environment and also update the SOP. This ensures the the unit stays effective and also efficient.

How has actually this changed recently?

Over the past 6 months, the operational setting has readjusted drastically because of the development of COVID-19 as part of our day-to-day lives. That has influenced daily routines, training, and also operations as result of social distancing requirements, an altering schedules at work, additional personal protective tools (PPE), transforms in a permanent change of terminal (PCS)/deployment timelines, and other facets peculiar to each unit. End time, units continue to develop brand-new ways to reduce these challenges and readjust operations for safety, effectiveness and efficiency. These difficult lessons learned have detailed numerous modified and also standardized steps that must be encode in one SOP for every members the the unit to understand. As the environment and also COVID-19 restrictions change, new challenges will arise necessitating a evaluation of the SOPs to adapt to the following environment.

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When to be the last time her unit the review its SOPs? SOPs are there to support unit effectiveness, minimize workload, and improve security through standardization of processes. SOPs have to be validated often and also updated as the environment, personnel, and standards evolve end time. They room designed to minimize the should tell each individual Soldier how to carry out a specific task instead of having them know, understand, and also internalize a proven, standardization process. Conventional operating procedures are over there to improve as whole unit performance.