Your business could be teetering on the edge of oblivion… steeped in chronic chaos, without a lasting cure for business disorganitis!
Business Disorganization is hard to cure, especially if you don’t recognize the symptoms, or are in denial that you even have it. There are serious manifestations that follow this awful affliction, namely Re-workitis and No-clueitis. Sadly, some have misdiagnosed this condition as “normal,” or “business as usual!”
GOOD NEWS IS, we’ve found a cure for that! The BAD NEWS is, many seem quite comfortable living in this state. In fact, they pass it on to those around them with little concern. Consequently, those exposed to this malady, also become used to living in a chaotic situation, and disorganitis spreads like wildfire throughout your business!
Symptoms may vary from Mild to Severe
— HEADACHES, over recurring mistakes
— HAIR LOSS, due to lost revenue from wasted time and resources
— PANIC ATTACKS, due to missing deadlines
— ULCERS, from making excuses to customers
— INSOMNIA, from long hours training and retraining personnel
— RED EYE, from over-work and no personal life
— ANGER OUTBURSTS, trying to keep your business clean and orderly
— MEMORY LOSS, from constant interruptions with the same questions
— CONFUSION, resulting from chaos in your business
Cure for Business Disorganitis | Where to Start
You start by facing the truth! First, recognize you have “disorganitis” (chaos in your business). Next, admit you need help bringing your business to order. Most importantly, you must make the decision to STOP THE CHAOS, OR CONTINUE THE PAIN!
Chaos is NOT “normal!” You can GET OVER IT! Systematization heals business disorganitis! Read: The CURE for chaos!
The Checklist Prescription
Checklists are NOT unique in bringing a business from chaos to order. Budget-killing mistakes can be dramatically reduced or eliminated, by creating simple checklists, and having everyone follow them systematically.
“Ah, there’s the rub,” you say. But, wait… there is a way!
Consider the following examples of some who have implemented checklists that have saved whole companies from disaster. These checklists have saved money and time and, as a matter of fact, many lives!
Medical and Airline Checklists
In 2001, Dr. Peter Pronovost, a renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital critical-care specialist, put together a simple five-step checklist for installing lines in the human body. He had become disturbed by the thousands of needless deaths in hospitals, due to infections. Almost immediately, infection rates plummeted at the hospital. However, Dr. Pronovost couldn’t get other hospitals interested, primarily because physicians felt they didn’t need checklists to do their job.
Finally, Dr. Pronovost convinced the State of Michigan to try his simple checklists in a handful of its hospitals. Sadly, those hospitals were among the worst in the country up to that point. In December 2006, the Keystone Initiative published its findings in a landmark article in The New England Journal of Medicine. The result: within the first three months of the project, the infection rate of Michigan ICUs decreased by 65 percent. In the Keystone Initiative’s first 18 months, the hospitals saved an estimated $175 million in costs, and more than 1,500 lives.
Consider your next business trip by plane. An airline pilot, focusing on the weather or passengers, could miss a small light alerting him his landing gear isn’t down. Thankfully, airline pilots use detailed checklists that keep you and me safe from such mishaps!
Developing Manufacturers Checklists
Begin creating a checklist system for all the processes in your business that need to be performed consistently. Example: A process for setting up a new account for a customer. One by one, write down all the processes for how your company operates. Consequently, if this is not done, all those processes will remain in your head, and trusted to MEMORY. Therefore, as an owner or manager,you must take the time to download that information, from your head into written documents. As a result, these will become checklists, procedures, policies and other documents that will transform your business. Moreover, these documents need to be assembled and organized into an Operations Manual.
Service and Quality Control Checklists
These are crucial to any company wanting to guarantee quality and service. Every company and organization has a product it is selling or promoting. Your product may be a service, but it should be QUALITY service.
A verbal commitment to quality and service is about as predictable as bubbles in the air. Therefore, without a checklist system, you cannot guarantee or prove quality or service. Truth is, human beings are fallible, and cannot remember to complete every process consistently, every time.
Daily Routine Checklists
Daily Routine Checklists (DRCs) work, absolutely! The DRC is like an expanded job description, developed into a detailed checklist. It includes a staff member’s duties in the order he or she performs them, from the time they arrive at work until they leave. In addition, such checklists should be prominently located for easy use, either on an employee’s desk, or on a clipboard by their workstation.
In the DRC document, the owner or manager also has for reference a list of every task an employee does. As a result, Daily Routine Checklists become your EYES, to see every task/duty performed in your organization. This includes anything from taking mail to the post office, to mopping the floors; doing accounting, to planning events. These checklists, followed correctly, one-step-at-a-time, stop errors from being repeated.
Daily Routine Checklists virtually eliminate procrastination and chaos (I call it business disorganitis)!
Did I mention? Great Systems Work!