Sometimes, I love the spam that I get. Because even though they're trying to sell me on some product, there's an occasional gem that contains good advice. I've quoted spam before, when talking about Setting the context.
This week, I got a spam about "Four Easy Steps to a Standard Procedure". Ignoring the product they're trying to sell, it's a great message. In part, the spam said:
The easiest way to achieve this [operational efficiency] is to create a standard procedure for all of the operations you repeat every day: processing orders, shipping product, servicing field calls, making sales calls, and so on. Then make sure everyone follows it. THIS BUYS YOU THREE THINGS:
1. YOU ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE. By optimizing the procedure, everyone does the job in the most efficient way.
2. YOUR QUALITY IS HIGHER - YOU MAKE FEWER MISTAKES. You get the same predicable outcome, no matter who does the job.
3. YOUR WORKFORCE IS MORE FLEXIBLE. You can easily train more people to do the job.
With increased productivity, better quality and a more flexible workforce you can [..] lower your costs and still get the same (or more) work done.
[and the steps are...]
Make sure the people doing the job follow the same optimized procedure. You'll get increased output, consistent results and easily be able to train new hires and other employees to do the job so that you aren't dependent on a key person to get the job done.
We need to put a strong focus on Simplify, Standardize, Automate. I'm constantly pushing on the managers to do all they can in these 3 areas, particularly with automation. Scripting tasks, removing manual steps, will allow us to support larger systems, and more systems, than we have previously. And we'll do it with less stress on everyone who supports these systems.