Giving up the Ghosts: Freaky Deviations
It’s exciting to see — some small business owners have begun giving up the ghosts.
“Ghosts” are aberrations of things lurking in unsuspected locations ready to wreak havoc. In fact, the sure sign of the presence of ghosts are abnormalities and deviations in a company’s operations.
Now this should sound familiar to any business owner or manager struggling with irregularities and freakish deviations.
The truth is, these ghosts are NOT aberrations or imaginations. In fact, they are all too REAL!
For proof that they exist, you can MEASURE their negative affect on a business’s bottom-line. Not to mention, the discouraging affect on employees and owners.
These ghosts of disorder manifest as errors, miscommunications, employee turnover, lost revenue, cluttered offices, and production areas. You can be sure, these are NOT aberrations!
Because of these sometimes-unexplained deviations, many business owners spend sleepless nights haunted by a continual stream of operational non-conformance. For this reason, every day there seems to be a Halloween “trick” waiting.
Sadly, there are those who have grown accustomed to these familiar “ghosts.” Therefore, they don’t make the effort to eradicate them. And I mean, eradicate them permanently.
The good news is, many small business owners now see the benefits of giving up those ghosts of disorder.
How to Extract Ghosts of Disorder Permanently
Considering the harm those not-friendly ghosts cause in a business, extracting them permanently should be TOP priority.
A well-known concoction for removing ALL disorder is developing an Operations Manual for how the business operates. A written model for how the OWNER envisions their business operating smoothly, WITHOUT ghosts of disorder. In fact, this Operations Manual should DETAIL how the business operates from morning-to-night, and from front-to-back. Ghosts excluded!
Next, add the “secret sauce” — a surefire SYSTEM for extracting these ghosts, known as CAPA – Corrective Action – Preventive Action. Specifically, this is a system, a method for identifying the TYPE of non-conformance that has manifested; also identifying ALL PERSONNEL INVOLVED in the deviation.
To clarify, this CAPA system is for discovering the ROOT CAUSE of any “ghosts of disorder” attack.
Moreover, once the root cause is known, management must immediately update an existing document, i.e. checklist or procedure, in the Company’s Operations Manual. Thus, adding a prompt to ensure correct performance of the task.
However, if said document/system does NOT exist, then management is to build a NEW system, featuring prompts that ensure correct performance is ongoing.
Consequently, removing one ghost of disorder at a time brings in a culture of peace and order to business.
To emphasize, all effective business process management starts at the top. Therefore, the business decision to “give up the ghosts” lays in the hands of owner — the head “ghost” buster.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
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.