Implementing Systems Is Child’s Play - Literally!
He told his sons that AFTER they had completed each chore, they were to put a check in the box next to each prompt on their whiteboard. Then, when everything on the board was checked off, to come and get him, and he would do an inspection.
This went on day after day, week after week. Richard and his wife were amazed that the boys seemed to actually enjoy doing the checklists, and checking the boxes after accomplishing each chore.
Richard made a few adjustments to the checklist along the way, and he told me it had actually put an end to the fussing and arguing—best of all, he and his wife didn’t have to stand over the boys supervising anymore. However, his wife had come to him after all that, seeming a little sad. She finally told him what was bothering her—that the new system might be taking the place of her mothering.
“Go figure!” Richard had laughed.
The reason that checklist system worked is pretty simple!
No one enjoys having someone breathing down their neck and monitoring every little thing they do—especially not children, and definitely not when you're cutting into their play time. But, systems empower people to do their job consistently, pretty much error-free, and (for the most part) unsupervised. The boys had liked that!
Consider this: If you told 10 people to clean a house, you would get 10 different results. Why? Because, what “CLEAN” means to one person may mean something entirely different to another person.
Maybe you’ve asked someone to do a task, and then been frustrated with them, because, “he or she didn’t do the job RIGHT—the way I would do it.” SOLUTION: make a detailed procedure of EXACTLY how you WOULD do it.
Give people easy access to proper tools and the information to do their job, then stand back and be prepared to be amazed!
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.