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Where is the latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

Using up to date procedures and safe work practices is essential for maintaining safety of your workforce. Document management systems play an important role as part of a compliance platform to manage and deliver the correct documents so that appropriate procedures can be followed.

It has been over 30 years since the introduction of digital document and record management technologies. So you might expect this to be a solved problem by now. In today's world of the internet no one should be spending time looking for or wondering if the procedure they have is the correct one or not. However, significant time is still spent searching for information that is needed to perform work.

There are several factors that contribute to why this is the case that include using: system silos, out-of-date information, poorly executed or non existing management practices, and so on. I often find that companies may not even know what information needs to be managed. Identifying the documents, forms, and procedures needed by personnel in safety-critical roles is an important step towards improving timely access to procedures and safe-work practices.

However, the most important factor may well be the mindset around document management. When you view something as a "solved problem" there tends to be no attention given to maintaining the process let alone improving it.

Is it time for your company to take another look at document management and how documents can be maintained and delivered in a timely manner?

Plan-Do-Check-Act Questions:

  1. What "solved problems" do you see in your workplace that need improvement?

  2. Which roles are most effected by information that is: incorrect, out-of-date, or not available?

  3. What do people do when they can't find the information they need and how does this impact safety risk?

  4. What is the next target condition to improve access to critical procedures and what is the first step towards that objective?



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