Are you satisfied that your customers consistently receive great products and services from your company? Is value dependent on who is delivering it or how it’s being delivered? Both are important, but without a written process that is followed by all, people will deliver value their way which is often not your way nor the best way.
In his book, the Checklist Manifesto, noted surgeon, Atul Gawande makes the case for a simple checklist to ensure that important safety steps in the operating room are followed by all, including the surgeon. His team identified three “pause points” (post-anesthesia, pre-incision, post-operation) and an accompanying checklist to reduce complications from surgery. His simple 90 second checklist was tested in 8 hospitals in different parts of the world. It reduced complications and deaths by a third at virtually no cost.
It’s important to note that a key component of the checklist is team engagement and communication. One surgeon (also a pilot) likened the process to a “cleared for takeoff” checklist focused on reducing infection, bleeding, unsafe anesthesia and anticipating the unexpected that might arise during surgery.
Getting any process right is a team effort. When it’s left to one person or department important steps are missed. A team effort creates clarity, understanding and buy-in to a completed, written process that is the result of everyone’s knowledge and expertise. Without a team effort to complete a written process, it’s very difficult to have the process “followed by all”.
So, have you identified the 6 to 10 “Core Processes” that define your way of delivering consistent value to your customers? You can’t scale your business without well-defined, written processes that are followed by all. You can’t grow your business without the ability to replicate each customer’s great experience each and every time they do business with you.