This week I bought an A3 printer...it's a bit of a beast to be honest, but it gets rave reviews and I need it for my reports. So anyway, it arrived, I lifted it out of the box, removed the 30 ft of plastic, polystyrene and tape it was wrapped in and plugged it in.
I didn't expect any problems in connecting it...it was a wireless printer after all and they are easy as an easy thing to link up to your computer. Several hours later however, after much huffing and puffing, and cursing...and a couple of messages to Epson customer services about how their product doesn't work with a Mac...I was fit to be tied...and I still did not have a working printer.
At that point I decided I would have to resort to the instructions! Oh the shame! You see I don't like instructions - a bit of an admission for someone who waxes lyrical about how liberating processes are - I see instructions as cheating somehow...like others I know, I believe I should be able to work things out for myself without having someone else show me the easiest way...I'm a bright girl after all...what could be so difficult! It's a common problem.
But instructions are written for one reason only...to make a customer's life easier. A business will work out the most efficient process, will try and test the best way of setting up and using their product, and will then write out step by step instructions guiding us through the process...just to make our lives easier!
That's what processes do...make things easier...do this, then this, then this and you will achieve X result...follow these 5 simple steps, and you will achieve Y result. It's not rocket science...it's logical - tried and tested methods that have been fine-tuned over time by the feedback of those who use them.
Businesses who take the time to isolate all of the processes in their business
...who work out the most logical, efficient and repeatable way of working
...who document the procedures to be followed and involve their team (and customers) in fine-tuning them
...and who tie every thing back to the culture and values of their business
...make things easier for their people, their customers, their suppliers
And people who follow instructions get to have a working printer in less time than it takes to say: 'Physician heal thyself'! I'll remember that next time.
Follow the instructions for an easier life.
For information on how MPL can help you and your business visit www.mariannepage.co.uk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)