Adaptive SOPs

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Standard operating procedures (SOPs) guide emergency responders in a crisis, providing predetermined steps to manage anticipated events. However, modern disasters often manifest as complex systems and produce unanticipated outcomes.  As a consequence, the application of prediction-dependent SOPs to prediction-defiant scenarios yields ineffective emergency management. In this podcast, Shawn Harwood (cohort 1505), Assistant Attache / Supervisory Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations (DHS/ICE) proposes two practical, executable means of integrating adaptability into SOP-driven crisis response: the use of prompts and crisis co-pilots.  Both of which help an emergency responder identify divergence from predicted behavior and encourage adaptation in the field.

Read Harwood’s thesis: Adaptive Standard Operating Procedures for Complex Disasters [pdf]


The Reflecting PoolMore episodes from the Reflecting Pool podcast.


Keywords: Karimi, Harwood, standard operating procedure, SOP, adaptive SOP, public safety, Chicago PD, Law Enforcement, homeland security investigations, predictability, unpredictability, complicated, complex, adaptive systems, active shooter, crisis

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