It’s a simple game. Everyone lines up or sits in a circle. The person at one end makes up a sentance, tells the person next to them, they tell the person next to them and so on until it gets to the end of the line.
They were then asked to repeat what they heard.
Guess how many times it was exactly the same as the person who initially said it.
Here’s how it looks in your business.
Someone does a new task. They then leave the business.
In comes a newbie who is trained. Newbie does the task. They then move to a different department. They train their replacement.
Replacement does the task. They are then promoted. They train the new hire.
New hire does the task. They leave. They train someone from another department.
And so on and so on.
Guess what happened to the way that original task was completed?
Chinese whispers are open to interpretation. The what, why and how can become almost unrecognisable.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with intentional continuous improvement there is a real issue with processes changing unintentionally.
Undocumented processes are your businesses version of Chinese Whispers.
With each process changing slightly every time the task owner changes.
For business owners, this can become painstakingly clear when things they thought were happening, no longer happen, when customers complain, when services are delivered incorrectly, when the flow of information just isn’t happening.
Documented processes (no matter what form they are in) allow you to have consistent, repeatable processes with an expected outcome.
Follow the process, get the outcome that you desire.