We’re getting into bikini season. As we shed our clothes and take that hard-earned vacation at the beach, the Accounting department sheds its staff. With folks taking time off here and there (you know, to run around in bikinis), it can be hard for those who remain to fill in the gaps and swap roles from one week to the next. That’s why we got to make sure to get these two things right:
Policies and Procedures. Grumbles. Let’s face it. Documentation takes time and there always seems to be something more important we all have to do. But do you know what’s worse than creating desktop procedures and instructions? Getting frantic calls from people, while you are on vacation, looking for this report or that spreadsheet. So, suck it up and memorialize for everyone how major activities are performed.
Cross Training. It’s not enough to write everything down. We also need to practice doing each other’s jobs under proper supervision. So that when game time comes, we don’t fumble on the task. Every few months, certain pieces of each person’s responsibilities should rotate to another team member, so that there is consistent and continual emphasis on learning to perform back-up roles properly. As an added benefit, having a fresh set of eyes and someone with a different skill set going over your work can very well lead to practical process improvement ideas that haven’t been thought of before.