Lack of Operations Manuals stunting your growth?

Jan 16 00:36 2005 Mike Hayden Print This Article

Lack of ... Manuals stunting your growth? ... 1. Do you lack ... ... Manuals? 2. Use a SYSTEM to write your ... Manuals! 3. Yes, but my people just ... write

Lack of Operations Manuals stunting your growth?

1. Do you lack functional Operations Manuals?
2. Use a SYSTEM to write your Operations Manuals!
3. Yes,Guest Posting but my people just don't/won't write stuff down!
4. But people WILL write stuff down - if ...
5. Call to Action.

1. Do you lack functional Operations Manuals?

Great businesses depend on systems, not people.

That's because you can duplicate systems, but not people.

If your business can't duplicate salable results, it
won't survive. Duplication is Nature's Survival Law.

If your organization lacks Operations Manuals, your growth
and success will be limited due to lack of a duplicable
(documented) system.

2. You can use a SYSTEM to write your Operations Manuals!

Extraordinary people don't build great businesses.
Ordinary people produce extraordinary results using a
duplicable system. That's how you build a great business.

The faster you develop good Operations Manuals the
faster you will have a great business!

3. Yes, but my people just don't/won't write stuff down!

You will hear many excuses and attitudes for why people
don't write Operations Manuals.

"We just don't have enough time."

"It's not my job man! You hired me to be a [manager,
programmer, accountant, engineer, whatever]. I'm not
a writer!"

"I hate to write. Who needs it!"

"Whenever I feel like writing, I lie down until the
feeling goes away."

"It's different here. Things change too fast. The
minute we write something down, it's obsolete..."

These are typical objections people express. But, one of
the most UNexpressed fears is:

"If I document my job in an Operations Manual, I can
be replaced! I'll lose my job!"

No wonder so few organizations have Operations Manuals!

4. But people WILL write stuff down - if ...

. and only if they can realize a benefit!

Let's face it. You can grow your organization ONLY if you
can promote and/or replace your employees. Thus, you and
your team can MOVE UP only if you can replace yourselves.

And you can do this by documenting your positions in
well-organized Operations Manuals.

"Mike! Are you saying that by writing stuff down in
Operations Manuals we'll receive more raises, promotions,
and vacations."


These goodies are not available without your company's
growth and prosperity!

Did you know most business start-ups fail while most
franchises succeed. Successful franchises use a
documented management system ... in short ...
Operations Manuals!

"But Mike, our company is not a 'franchise!'"

Neither is mine.

But SMS has a documented management system, including
about 13,000 pages of Operations Manuals.

When anyone or I want to know how to do something, all
we need do is pull a manual off the shelf. What could
be easier? There's near zero "tribal knowledge" here.

We can relocate on a moment's notice with minimum

I know of many companies that wanted to move from California.

Suddenly, they were faced with hiring many new,
inexperienced employees in another state.

Suddenly, they were faced with writing (insufficient)
Operations Manuals literally as-they-packed!

Believe me, displaced employees were less than cooperative!
And those who moved with the company inherited enormous
problems due to poor - or no - documentation.


So, here's my advice. Start now!

Develop a set of Operations Manuals where you collect
information that governs how your company's positions

At SMS, we have at least one 3-ring binder for every
position on our Org Chart.

Develop your Operations Manuals in a standard format
containing at least the following information for each

ACCOUNTABILITY - Specify the position's

STANDARDS - Specify the standards for the position.
Include the policies that define / limit the
position's authority and the position holder's general

WORK INSTRUCTIONS - Specify how the position's work
will be performed.

GENERAL INFORMATION - Provide information about your
organization, your products and services, your
competition, etc. Include other material that enriches
the position holder's understanding of the working

INTERFACE - Describe how the position interfaces

> Its superior position.
> Its subordinate positions.
> Peer position(s) with frequent contact.
> Non-peer staff positions with frequent contact.
> The "Outside World" (customers, vendors, etc.).


You can design your manuals to have five sections each
as follows.



Company-wide policies:

Action plans, sample forms, flowcharts, scripts,
collateral materials, etc.

Explain the principles behind the position's work.

5. Call to Action.

To review, your Operations Manuals are collection points
for information that governs functioning of positions on
your Org Chart.

I sent you this eZine to give you an outline to ease
development of your Operations Manuals.

As you've probably guessed, developing Operations Manuals
is a big task. I've done it often for many clients. If I
be of assistance, just send me an email.

Together, we can document what you want, how you want
it, and when you want it. We will discuss various
creative approaches before the project begins.

Mike Hayden
Your partner in streamlining business.

For more information,

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(c) 2003 Mike Hayden, All rights reserved. You may use
material from the Profitable Venture Tactics eZine in
whole or in part, as long as you include complete
attribution, including live website link and email link.

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About Article Author

Mike Hayden
Mike Hayden

Mike Hayden is Founder/CEO of Senior Management Services and the Documentation Express in Silicon Valley, California. Mr Hayden is the author of "7 Easy Steps to your Raise and Promotion in 30-60 Days!" The book that smart bosses want their employees to read.
ISBN 0-9723725-1-2. More articles at

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