Ramón Padilla has written a great article about Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and how they can be used to implement best practice frameworks such as ITIL, COBIT, ISO, PMBoK, PRINCE 2, etc…
Very interesting, because we at Nevant have very similar thoughts that have their reflection in metoCube, our procedure documentation software.
the best run organizations are those which have mastered the mundane
The purpose of SOPs is to make your organization perform better and faster, with higher quality, increased customer service, and accountability. The SOPs ARE NOT the end product, nor are they designed to be so rigid as to make conducting business painful.
Some procedures “were designed so long ago they haven’t kept up with the changing organization, or for IT, changes in technology”
they have achieved mastery not just by creating SOPs and sticking to them, but by constantly re-examining their processes to make them more efficient, effective, and consistent. Because of this mastery of the mundane, they have had the opportunity to come up with creative ways to expand their respective businesses
your organization is unique and that plopping in a best practice without considering the individual quirks of your environment is usually a bad idea. You need to tailor them for your environment – not adhere to them as if they were gospel
ITIL teaches you about good practices in IT, but it is not prescriptive in how you get there. The work in ITIL is translating the outcomes from the Library into a methodology for your organization that will achieve the results you are looking for.
IT, as a service-based organization needs to master the mundane in order to have the flexibility to work with its business units and add value.