Operations Manual

Systems and structure works. People live in chaos. Their personal lives are a mess. We want to provide for them a place where there is a predictable system. Where they know what is expected of them. Where for 8 hours a day they have structure. Young children will play the same videotape over and over again to fill the psychological need for predictability. When tied to a system of development or promotion for employees you significantly reduce turnover. But you must be willing to constantly work on your system and you must be disciplined enough to consistently enforce it. If you cannot respect your system then you cannot expect your employees to respect it.

In order to have an effective “system” of operations it must be documented. Each function must be documented so that consistency is achieved. The importance of the documentation becomes evident when there is turnover. The new person must have something that they can pick up and say, “this is how I do my job.” This is critical if the business is going to become systems dependent rather than people dependent. Every football team has a playbook yet the owner doesn’t.

The Operations Manual describes how the company would work if it were 1000 miles away and you could never visit. It describes how each job is done and what each person has to do so that their boss has a comfort level of knowing that the job has been done. Remember that it is a constant work-in-progress.