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Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

Department

Information and Decision Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Stewart, Walter

Abstract

The Mack truck principle is the reason a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document is a good idea – so I was told by my boss in my early days working for Disney ABC Television Group. This principle is quite simple: if the one person who knows how to do the job walks out the door and is hit by a Mack truck, we have a problem; no one else knows how to do what that person did. And when it comes to television operations, that is a huge dilemma!

Standard Operating Procedures is a document that lists the step-by-step process for completing tasks in order to, in this case, keep a network on the air. This document would be beneficial in cases of disaster recovery, but it might be just as useful for training new employees or for covering for someone who is out sick. There may be various reasons to go to the SOP, but they all have the same goal: to keep operations working to fulfill the business objective.

An SOP for the operations of an entire network would likely fill at least one if not multiple books, so in order to keep this project manageable, I limited the development of the SOP to one department, Traffic Inventory, which is responsible for the commercial and promotional assets which are sold and scheduled to air on any of the Disney cable networks (Disney Channel, DisneyXD, and Disney Junior.)

In order to develop an SOP, it was necessary to review the different software programs in use, and understand their purpose and application to the overall operations of the cable networks. This will be a “living” document, meaning updates and changes will be anticipated, requiring constant maintenance of the SOP in order to keep it up to the latest development. In an effort to make it truly useful, multiple screen captures are used, as this provides a more user-friendly tutorial and makes for a more effective “blueprint” to comprehend and follow.

By having Standard Operating Procedures on hand, anyone in the department will be able to effectively follow the process for handling the commercial and promotional assets in an efficient manner, with minimal impact on the daily operation of the networks. This will then be a valuable document, helping the business to keep its commitment to both advertisers and viewers, without the fear of Mack trucks.

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