You’d like everyone to move more quickly – and get more done, faster.
But when you’ve tried that before the error rate has gone way up – and you can’t afford the mistakes.
What if there was a way to get things done more quickly and make fewer mistakes at the same time?
What kind of difference would that make to you?
How much better would your business be if you could increase production by just 5%?
Yes, I thought so.
Here’s the secret.
And it’s one that most professionals resist implementing in their business.
It is the written standard operating procedure (aka SOP).
I know, just the idea of SOPs turns off many professionals.
They see them as a business thing – or they believe that each interaction is so unique that it can’t possibly be standardized.
Or they like the idea, but it feels like too much work – and who’s got time for that?
If this is all new to you then start simply with a checklist.
The written checklist is your reminder of the tasks or processes that need to happen.
The procedure (or SOP) is the more detailed document that gives the how, who, when, and where for the task.
Starting with a checklist will keep you from getting tangled up in all that detail.
Here’s how to start:
- Define the goal for the checklist. For example, it might be a specific step in the client intake or setup process. Or it might be around billing and collecting accounts receivable.
- Decide what kind of checklist you want. Do you want the person using the checklist to do each item as it’s read, or as a confirmation of the steps at the end?
- Write it with the Expert in Mind. Assume that the person running the checklist is fully qualified to do the job. This isn’t a “how-to” it’s a reminder to make sure it’s done.
- Keep it Short. Checklists are NOT an education tool. It should have no more than 6 to 10 tasks that take a minute or two to check off. If you need a longer one then you need multiple checklists.
- Test, Review, and Improve. Checklists are designed to be printed, written on, tested, and improved. Yes, you have to actually tick the box!
Oh, by the way, you should not do this all by yourself. Enlist your staff and work on the project together. After all, they are the experts described in item 3, above.