Developing Standard Operating Procedures for a water and sewer department
Nichole Simmons, Engineer, Public Works Department, City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Raymond J. Gerke, CEO, VEMAX Management Inc., Edmonton, Alberta
The City of Saskatoon (Saskatchewan, Canada) has involved workers and supervisors in the documentation of work practices. The City gathered good information but it wasn't apparent how to best utilize this information in the workplace. The City engaged VEMAX Management Inc. to establish a process to clearly document Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be used at the crew and crew supervisor levels. VEMAX has assisted with the development of SOPs in other agencies in Canada and Australia. The project built on what Saskatoon had already done and added a detailed method for collecting, reviewing and documenting the preferred work practices into a series of SOPs.
In order to help define and scope the desired outcome, the following objective was established: "To identify, document, and implement best practices by consistently documenting all necessary details that ensure successful completion of each job."
The City appointed Nichole Simmons to facilitate the acquisition, organization, and formatting of the SOPs based on the process outlined by VEMAX. The project started in 2003 with an intensive mentorship/training phase. Since that time, nine SOPs for major activities have been developed. Six of these SOPs are currently in the implementation phase, all with positive results.
The successful process included the following steps:
Based on the success of this initiative to date, an additional 26 SOPs have been identified and will be completed over the next two years. Samples of the City's SOP and trainee manual documents may be viewed in adobe format at the City of Saskatoon's website, http://www.city.saskatoon.sk.ca/org/public_works/sops.asp.
The City of Saskatoon's Public Works Department web page can be accessed at http://www.city.saskatoon.sk.ca/org/public_works/index.asp. Nichole Simmons can be reached at Nichole.Simmons@City.Saskatoon.Sk.CA.
The mission of VEMAX Management Inc. is to assist all levels of government to improve their efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in the planning, preservation and utilization of public sector infrastructure. For more information on VEMAX, go to www.vemax.com. Raymond J. Gerke can be reached at Ray.Gerke@VEMAX.com.