Shearing a sheep has a pattern that, when followed, is efficient, precise and safe for both you and the sheep. In the 1950’s Sir Godfrey Bowen developed a method for shearing that is still used today. The pattern is very specific down to the exact number of strokes each part of the sheep takes. A really good shearer can shear a sheep in less than 2 minutes using his technique. I’m not a really good shearer but it reduces my time by more than half. (Yes, I tried to shear a sheep after watching a few Youtube videos and it took 45 minutes. After a week of shearing school I was down to 20 minutes.)
There are so many things I do every day that would be faster, more accurate and easy if I found the best way. Michael Gerber in “The E Myth,” his popular book on small business, suggests finding the best way for everything, then recording it in an Operations Manual.
Here are my top 5 reasons for putting some effort into writing Operations Manuals.
- Your mind is free to be creative somewhere else
- It is easier to teach someone else how to do what you do
- You have a baseline for tracking effectiveness
- When something goes wrong you can look at your process to find out why
- You don’t have to waste your time problem-solving something you problem-solved in the past
What have you found to be easier after finding the best way?