Strict Systems vs. ‘Big Brother’ - Part I
Ahead of meeting with Bob, I planned to pull reports on all of our employees to measure errors made in the previous year. But, before I had the software generate these reports, I asked Bob the following question:
“Of the five employees in a [specific] department, which employee would you say made the LEAST amount of errors, and which one made the MOST?”
Bob said, “That’s easy,” and he quickly wrote down, in order fro 1-5, who he believed made the most to least errors. I looked at his list and, based on my own knowledge of that department, I agreed with his assessment, even though we were both just making our best guesses.
Now it was time to see what the real, cold, hard and unbiased numbers would tell us.
I pulled the report on all five of the employees in that department and I can tell you, both our jaws dropped. The software report confirmed that the one we “felt” had made the least amount of errors had actually made the most and the one we felt made the most had made the least. At first, even I didn’t believe the reports, and told Bob I thought there must be some kind of bug in our software.
So, I asked him to pull all the hard copies of the prior years’ System Buster/Corrective Action forms, and to calculate the number of errors and resulting cost, etc. for each of the five employees. Bob came back a few hours later with his findings and we were both stunned that the manual accounting confirmed the software’s report.
What did Bob and I learn that day? Our GUESSES ̶ our human “feelings” ̶ were wrong, and the cold, unbiased system was correct in its assessment of who had actually made the most and least errors.
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.