Processes and Procedures
The more moving parts your organization has, the more processes you have and the greater the need for procedures to ensure precision, minimize risk and prevent error. In an artillery battery, there were many moving parts and many processes. Firing one round of artillery required about 15 processes to be conducted in between 1.5 to 3 minutes by 12 different Marines.
Procedures codify processes for a variety of reasons. Any action with more than one step is a process. Does that mean every process requires a procedure? No, I can’t count the number of redundant and worthless SOPs I have read. However, if a process requires precision and sequential actions, it probably needs a written procedure. As an artilleryman, I can tell you that anything that includes the risk of life or limb should have a written standard operating procedure.
Safety is a world of procedures, and it should be. The more dangerous an operation, the more necessary are clear safety procedures. Clear and well-written procedures that break down the process into logical steps should improve efficiency if everyone is well trained. We used to say in the artillery, smooth is fast which means most complaints about safety slowing things down highlight a lack of training.
Of course, any process that requires a procedure should require a periodic review and evaluation for compliance. After all, you can only expect what you inspect.
Remember, “all things are possible through prayer and heavy deadlifts.” ™