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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Operation Spec.

From: Mike Barrell <>
Date: Tue 31 Aug 2004 10:04:32 +0100

Wanted to reply to Jeff's comments.. only because I wanted to clarify one
thing about this "manual". (we called it operation spec, but it is really
just a "how to manual")

1) I totally agree with his statement about personalities and like to think
that one of the reasons that we have become successful is exactly that, but
this doesn't change any of that.
2) The manual is not a "rule book". Our manual is a tool that is being
written by every member of staff, to help other members of staff develop new
skills and know more about each part of the facility. It works in many ways
- as a training tool
- as a set of guidelines and standards so everyone knows where they are
- it has become way of helping every member of our team become better and
more knowledgeable, learning from each other.
- it provides guidance in the grey areas or highlights the grey areas so we
can all do something about them
3) it is not about telling staff what to do, but agreeing what needs to be
done. Since starting the project a number of things have happened
- motivation is up
- pros feel a sense of ownership / direction
- creativity is well up
- everyone knows what their responsibilities are and are more in control
- training of new staff happens quicker and more effectively
4) the manual never stops evolving as new ideas and better processes are
created and everyone is involved!

As a teaching pro of 18 years I used to watch the way some things were done
and tear my hair out, because the standards that I had set as being normal
in my own mind were not that same as some of the younger pros. Now not only
does everyone know where they stand, but I am learning stuff too. And I
realized that it was my fault for not conveying this message, and not the
pro's fault for not delivering. How can you deliver something when you don't
know what it is or how it is to be delivered!

The manual does not manage people, people manage people but it helps to get
everyone working together. The acid test is that the pro's want it more than
the management!

Hope that this dispels any ideas about cloning. It isn't that at all! Just
like a football team has a uniform and a game plan, it still has individual
stars! At the end of it all it is all about communication and teamwork!

Thanks to all of you that have sent ideas

Mike Barrell

Received on Tue Aug 31 2004 - 07:42:04 CDT

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