Exceptions AS the RULE
I had been there just a few minutes, and I could see this new GM had a tiger by the tail, and his name was Mr. Who!
Before I could ask my next question, Mr. Who went on to say that he also didn't like the Daily Routine Checklists System they were trying to implement, as "they also take too long."
I responded by opening one of the Daily Routine Checklists in question and assured him, "At most this should only take five to 10 minutes a day to complete—the daily routine checklist would ensure tasks are being completed." I asked him, "Isn't that what ANY manager would want happening in their company on a consistent basis?"
This actually happened...
As Mr. Who was LOOKING at the prompts on a quality control checklist, he turned to the new GM and said, "Oh, THIS REMINDS ME—we need to order some special trash bags. Joe, a crew leader, called me earlier and said they were out, and they are needed on the job today."
You see, Mr. Who, having forgotten, and having failed to order the trash bags, was now prompted by the checklist he hadn't seemed to think was necessary before. Go figure!
As I continued reviewing the Daily Routine Checklist with Mr. Who and the new GM, I noted that the first checkbox on the checklist was a prompt for the User to CLOCK IN. I asked the GM if their company had any trouble with their employees clocking in and out. He laughed and said, "Let me show you a SYSTEM we use to help our bookkeeper keep track of employee hours when they forget to Clock in or out."
We all walked to the shop area and on the wall by the time clock was a form titled TIME SHEET EXCEPTIONS. To my surprise, this form actually allowed employees to write in their OWN time, whenever they FORGOT to clock in or out, and there was no less than 10 to 12 new entries.
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.