One of my favorite Halloween movies of all time is Hocus Pocus. It’s the tale of three witches who are resurrected from the dead after a boy named Max lights a black flame candle. After 300 years, the witches are attempting to adjust to the 20th century while on the hunt for the perfect child to complete their spell which will return the witches back to their youth and allow them to live in the present day.
The three witches run into similar troubles that small businesses also run into when trying to adjust to their current market. However, businesses have the option to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) which helps to increase quality, safety and compliance while mitigating and preventing high-risk events. If you ask me, the reason the Sanderson sisters did not succeed in their quest was because they were lacking a QMS.
Let’s take a look at how things could have been different.
Flexibility: For starters, the witches were lacking in flexibility. They had one leader and one plan. The most important aspect of a QMS is that it provides the ability to adapt to existing processes, but also is flexible enough to change and improve as processes and policies change and improve. In the film, the three witches had one specific plan that they needed to follow in order to become immortal. However, their plan backfired when the children were able to get a hold of their magic book of spells and put a stop to their plan.
Integration: The witches were always together. Integrated systems enable organizations to improve processes in part because they work together to do their part, while ensuring communication. Had the sisters split up, I’m sure they could have gotten different and more relevant information that was otherwise missed, which would have helped them to succeed. The lesson here? Communication is important!
With each witch trying to complete the same task, things got messy and overwhelming. In the business world, many systems fall short of expectations because they don’t enable processes to communicate…they’re siloed. Dividing up job responsibilities and allowing the team to come together once each duty is completed, you are able to make a better educated decision. If you consider the systems you interact with and recognize how the plans are able to integrate with yours you will achieve a more wholesome outcome.
Corrective Action: If the witches had a corrective action system they would have been able to create a process-based approach to identify the major issues like locating their stolen spell book, particularly to find out who stole it and how to get it back. If this was the case, they would have been able to identify and create a plan to turn it around without wasting time. A corrective action is vital to many organizations and their compliance efforts, because it is able to identify failures early and promote continuous improvement.
Risk Management: With Risk Management, the sisters would have been able to assess all elements of risk, which could have helped to avoid many of the interferences they had to overcome. A risk management system is able to apply preventative measures to operate a plan more effectively. Once risk levels are lowered a risk management system can also help to mitigate the chance of recurrence. In terms of Hocus Pocus, a Risk Management system could have helped the Sanderson sisters become immortal in the end.
As businesses grow and evolve, it can become difficult to keep up with all of the changes that are taking place. A Quality Management System helps ensure control and visibility into all aspects of your organization. It provides integrated processes like corrective action and risk management while providing flexibility—all of which could have helped the Sanderson sisters break their spell.