20 January 2010

SOP To Death

Mr. B. works in a place (called the pfunny pfarm) where standard operating procedures or SOPs are common. According to definition, a standard operating procedure consists of a set of instructions having the force of a directive, and covering those features of operations that lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss of effectiveness. It is supposed to be an effective tool to drive performance of a company.

Where Mr. B. works, there is an SOP for almost everything, then there are SOPs that governs the little SOPs. The mother of all SOPs. If you have undergone through one of these, you will definitely understand how SOPs make you want to pull all the hair off your head followed by muted scream. That is what Mr. B. feels like doing everyday.

After careful studies, I come to realize why humans invent these kind of directives. There are only two probable reasons : one is to make incapable workers not do anything in fear of violation; and two is to make capable people fall into the depth of insanity sooner than necessary. Then there are the preachers of SOPs. Those who are in the know who's barks are more powerful than their bites, those who are all talks and no actions (because actions may result in the violation of the SOP).

I try to imagine what the human world would be like without SOPs, with no rules and restrictions. Will the world be in chaos? Will humans cease to move forward? Perhaps not. All I know is that too many of that will only lead to the collapse of the system it was trying to put in order in the first place. I think the world is confusing as it is without the SOPs and the SOP preachers.

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