When I refer to “process” I am addressing the steps taken in performing an action. This could be cleaning a sink, answering the phone, conducting a bid walk or training your staff. I learned that J. Edwards Deming was obsessed with finding the best process to conduct a manufacturing operation. In one of his biographies the story goes that as a young man he attempted to clean a wooden floor by soaking it first to get out all the dirt. Of course the floor promptly warped and may have been permanently damaged. 

 

My first response was to laugh about how someone as intelligent as Deming could possibly make such a simple mistake. Then it occurred to me that intelligence without proper training can lead to disaster. Deming was given a mop bucket and told to “clean” the wooden floor. He was not instructed on the proper way of maintaining wood which has different properties than linoleum, concrete or ceramic tile. He was not supervised adequately. He did the best he could with the limited knowledge he had of the cleaning process. 

 

Deming went on to become the foremost expert in manufacturing processes of his generation. He applied much of his experience and research to the manufacturing of automobiles and can be credited with much of the quality we see in automobiles even today. It is reported that Japan still has a Deming Award presented each year for process improvement. 

 

Just remember that you can have very intelligent people working for you who need training and support in a field that is a lot more than simply mopping a floor. 

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

 

 

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.