A Cup of Tea

Do you want to make your business more efficient? Try making yourself a cup of tea. When you make that cup of tea, think to yourself, how can I make it more efficiently? The chances are that you can’t. Over all the years that you have been drinking and making tea, you have slowly but surely located the teabags in the jar behind the kettle, moved the mugs to the cupboard above the kettle and the kettle itself will be a step away from the tap. The whole process will be executed with a few movements, and the total time taken will in all likelihood be within seconds, the same every time.
Now when you get to work, take a moment and take a look around. Each series of actions taken to achieve something is a process. Your business will be made up of many processes from taking a customer order to requesting items from stock to ordering advertising space in the local paper. Everything is process. Now pick one. Pick any process more complicated that sharpening a pencil. Write down the process step by step, and make sure it is the process that is really happening and not the one that you think happens. Watch what people do and ask questions. Once you have captured the process review each and every step. Ask yourself why each step occurs, does it need to happen and what would happen if it didn’t happen? Think about your distances, think about the mugs kept above the kettle. You may well find that there are things that can be stopped, and no one will care! So, what will your staff think of your scrutinising their tasks? Well if you involve them and ask their opinion you might find some great suggestions that you hadn’t thought of.
Now write your new streamlined process down and share it. If you introduce it in the right way you will find that people will be happy to know what is expected of them. You may also find that documented processes that are followed require less management time.
Once you have reviewed and improved a process, I suggest that you just may have deserved a cup of tea!! There will surely be many more processes to be tackled. If you want to think about something while you are sipping your tea, think about the hour that you spent saving 5 minutes. Then think about how many times over you will save that 5minutes.
One final thing. If you think I forgot about the milk in the tea, I didn’t. It’s in the fridge on the other side of the room as a reminder that you should be giving it up and drinking your tea black!
If you would like to talk about your business & processes over a cup of tea, let me know. Simon@UKBusinessmentoring.co.uk

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