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August 16 2022 10:18 PM ˚
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SOPs — promoting operational excellence

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Hamzeh S. Al-Alayani

The writer is a board member of a Jordanian public-sector government investments management company and a regular commentator on regional energy and industrial matters.

Tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today. Long-term capacity-building efforts boost economic growth and promote regional cooperation. Standard operating procedure (SOP) is part of such capacity building endeavors. اضافة اعلان

The term was first recorded in the mid-20th century; it is the documented process required to ensure delivery of all services and products consistently for all stakeholders. SOPs are often used to demonstrate compliance with the regulation or operational practices, and document the completion of tasks in an organization. They can be applied in all economic activities — law, finance, philosophy, management architecture, and public policy — to maximize efficiency and safety, promote best practices, and ensure high-quality experiences.

 If you think safety is expensive, try an accident. Whenever there is a catastrophe, we say lessons will be learned; the medical tragedy in the new Salt public hospital and the Aqaba toxic gas leak are examples. They should be a wake-up call that makes everybody understand that managing facilities is critical.

Jordan’s economy is projected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2022, and services are expected to boost the economy over the medium term. However, all hinges on global economic conditions and the timely implementation of critical reforms to address structural challenges.

The Jordanian government should focus on a risk-management framework that embeds risk management in the operations process, and asset-management procedures, through developing risk-management structures, tools, standards, and policies.

The complexities of business operations, managing various channels, and integrations of processes, all interwoven, require robust SOPs. In today’s business environment, SOPs must enhance performance and make economic sense to get the necessary buy-in from the relevant stakeholders.
Employees need training and tools to implement SOPs. Management should monitor compliance, enforce accountability, and measure the results. Periodically, or when necessary, reviews are required to notice changes to current procedures or improve them.
According to the American Management Association, 30 to 50 percent of employees avoid taking responsibility at the workplace. The International Labor Organization reports that yearly, 2.3 million workers worldwide are involved in work-related health and safety incidents. Incorporating safety procedures into existing workflows can help avoid injuries. SOPs enable organizations to run like well-oiled machines while keeping workers safe.

Employees need training and tools to implement SOPs. Management should monitor compliance, enforce accountability, and measure the results. Periodically, or when necessary, reviews are required to notice changes to current procedures or improve them. The real game-changer for SOPs is discovering processes that can be fully automated through a digital platform. The platform can offer a streamlined solution to manage workflows, communication, and accountability; team members can communicate on SOP progress in real-time via mobile devices, and no more paperwork will have to be filed away and forgotten.

The fulfillment of and follow-up on SOPs is a multi-step process that involves understanding the standards, the different application levels, and the framework integrating the legal procedures. It will help strengthen and simplify a range of existing legislation and introduce new SOPs reforms in support of businesses, making it easier for them to trade, grow and create jobs. SOPs would allow Jordanian industries to be in a stronger position to recapture their businesses and become a logistics hub for the Levant.

In particular, SOPs should be used as a reference for establishing an information monitoring and early warning system, which must effectively help reduce the misuse and waste of national resources and maximize resource use efficiency.

Reengineering and e-government are mutually reinforcing, allowing the government to use modern information technology to improve the efficiency of its affairs. The policy management methods will apply to various plans to achieve added value, sustainable management and economic development.


Hamzeh S. Al-Alayani is a board member of a Jordanian public-sector government investments management company and a regular commentator on regional energy and industrial matters.


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