"Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing... layout, processes, and procedures"
--- Tom Peters
Policies, procedures, and processes are needed in business. This is something we all know, but seldom do we take the time to institute efficient and effective processes into our businesses. Sometimes it just seems easier to keep the status quo and let the business continue to run without rocking the boat.
In the famously followed principles in Michael Gerber's book, The E-Myth Revisited, establishing processes has proven to be successful for efficiently run companies like McDonald's. Gerber explains that implementing processes that makes actions in business and tasks that need to be completed more automatic increases the bottom line of the business.
"A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships."
--- Stephen Covey
Gerber is not the only one to promote the practice of applying procedures and processes to business. The whole concept makes sense and helps to lower labor costs. But before attempting to apply processing principles, a business leader must encourage feedback from team members on what processes should be implemented. Simply starting a process is not enough. There must first be an analysis conducted to find out where to create a process and the core of the best information will come from those actually needing a procedure and process.
"The system is that there is no system. That doesn't mean we don't have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient."
--- Steve Jobs
A process can be as simple as writing down some of the basic things that need to be accomplished in the shop every day before the close of business. This simple exercise will lay the foundation for developing a system that will remain in case you are fortunate enough to get away for a vacation.
""Investing in management means building communication systems, business processes, feedback, and routines that let you scale the business and team as efficiently as possible."
--- Fred Wilson
Today's technology will help you to develop the necessary processes and procedures without having to invent something from scratch. Many processes are already available and some you may be using now such as those for accounting, supplies, payroll, etc.
The act of developing processes for your business can be overwhelming, but keep in mind that many of the same procedures that you need for your business may already exist. Start slow and begin making processes and systems for the smallest areas of your business to streamline those areas and see how they work in your business to save you time and money.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward."
--- Amelia Earhart
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