Getting the most from a system requires good operations plans, that are understood by all users and are used routinely or practised regularly.
Developing a plan often requires negotiation with other groups, both internally and externally. Establishing proper governance for these relationships is often the most challenging part of developing a plan.
Having a great plan that no one heard of, or that has been forgotten, is not useful. Operations plans must be reinforced through regular training and practice. It is also important that senior management promote the importance of these relationships, plans and ongoing practice, as well as ensuring funding is avaialable.
Where possible, operations plans should be applied on a daily basis. Specialty plans such as emergency or Business Continuity plans should be exercised regularly. People forget what they learned, staff turnover brings in new people, and the organization evolves, so exercises are a chance to review the plan.

Being successful requires more than just routine operations for a business or Public Safety agency. Integrated programs for routine operations, Business Continuity, Emergency Management and Security are all critical for surviving the unexpected.

Common SOPs

ICS (Incident Command System)

IMS (Incident Management System) Prov of Ontario

NIMS (National Incident Management System)

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
SOPs cannot be written in isolation. Whether Government or Business, Emergency Management depends on Public Safety and Security when an incident happens. While Emergency Management deals with the immediate situation, Business Continuity deals with keeping the business operating until everything returns to the "normal state" .
SOPs must include dealing with outside agencies as well as internal groups. During an incident is not the time to determine the boundaries between agencies and organizations.
Technology must also support an integrated response. Shared communications infrastructure can enhance capabilities, while reducing costs. Interoperability between groups within an organization can provide important coordination and management, reducing confusion and time wasted.
Understanding how different departments and agencies function and their mandates for each, helps develop a plan that has the technical and operational capabilities required by an organization. This can include training programs with specific training material, as well as an exercise program with exercises to test and improve on the SOPs.
There are also SOPs that support capabilities that are used in response, but are not response SOPs in themselves. Encryption is an example of a capability that needs robust SOPs and governance, to ensure proper operation on a daily basis, including during a response.