Does Your Business Suffer from Disorganitis?
Sadly, Dr. Pronovost could not get other hospitals interested, primarily because physicians felt they didn’t need checklists to do their job. Sound familiar?
Finally, Dr. Pronovost convinced the State of Michigan to try his simple checklists in a handful of its hospitals that were among the worst in the country. Results? In December 2006, the Keystone Initiative published its findings in a landmark article in The New England Journal of Medicine:
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.
Checklists for Printers
Begin creating a checklist system for all the processes in your business that need to be performed consistently (i.e., setting up a new account for a customer). How your company operates, all the processes of your business, will remain in your head if you as an owner or manager have never taken the time to download that “information” out of your head into written documents (i.e., checklists, procedures, policies and other documents). These documents should then be assembled and organized into an Operations Manual.
• Quality and Service Control Checklists are crucial to any company that wants 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. Without a checklist system, you cannot guarantee or prove quality or service. Human beings are fallible, and you can’t remember to complete every process consistently every time.
Have you ever read something and it turns out you’ve read it wrong? Or, you were supposed to do something and it turns out you didn’t, but you “just knew” you had? My point exactly!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.