When the Shortcut Becomes the Standard Way

There must be a shortcut for every Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). You cannot allow the production database to be down for hours while you chase down everyone on the Change Advisory Board. The police cannot wait for a judge and the associated paperwork if somebody’s life is in danger.

The problems start if the shortcut is abused. Amazon is sharing video from your Ring doorbell with anyone who works for one of their 2,161 “partners” as long as they promise on their scout’s honor that it is really important. Google will similarly share the video feed from your Nest camera. They say they haven’t done so yet, but that’s only because law enforcement hasn’t noticed them yet.

I’ve been in organizations where half the work of IT operations was Emergency Changes. Do you track how much work is handled following SOP and how much your people use the shortcuts?