Increasing Your Mushroom Grow Yield
Getting the most from your growing process is hard. It requires that you get better and better at many things. Since we are not experts in this field we want to focus on helping you think through your growing plans as a business owner. This means using proven strategies like those used in other successful farm and agricultural efforts. Then applying those to help you increase your yield, control costs, and eliminate waste.
The more productivity you can gain through your processes the better your results will be. In other kinds of farming the soil chemical balance is critical to higher yields. In mushroom growth and production it is the substrate that holds this place of importance in your process.
We believe in the KISS method whenever possible. Keep It Simple Stupid. The reason for this is that when you break things down into their simplest steps or forms you can make major gains in productivity.
In a research paper from 1993 K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer proposed that deliberate practice can help you master any skill in 10,000 hours. This was later popularized in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
I believe the idea is sound but you have to focus in on the deliberate portion of that statement. To use another word you must practice in a focused manner. If you just practice with half of your focus, and attention you cannot expect to master any skill or talent on repetition alone. Instead, you would be very lucky to not create negative habits that would commonly result in an inferior result.
So keeping that in mind you can master new skills much faster the better you are able to focus. So years of research has lead this author to understand that breaking complex tasks into smaller tasks, and then completing them in the same order every time will greatly improve your results.
I started working on this idea of 30 years ago when I worked in manufacturing. At that time I learned about W. Edwards Deming who helped Japan rebuild their manufacturing after World War II. He was an engineer who had a unique way of looking at manufacturing.
From the Deming.org website: https://deming.org/explore/p-d-s-a
“The PDSA Cycle (Plan-Do-Study-Act) is a systematic process for gaining valuable learning and knowledge for the continual improvement of a product, process, or service. Also known as the Deming Wheel, or Deming Cycle, this integrated learning – improvement model was first introduced to Dr. Deming by his mentor, Walter Shewhart of the famous Bell Laboratories in New York.
The cycle begins with the Plan step. This involves identifying a goal or purpose, formulating a theory, defining success metrics and putting a plan into action. These activities are followed by the Do step, in which the components of the plan are implemented, such as making a product. Next comes the Study step, where outcomes are monitored to test the validity of the plan for signs of progress and success, or problems and areas for improvement. The Act step closes the cycle, integrating the learning generated by the entire process, which can be used to adjust the goal, change methods, reformulate a theory altogether, or broaden the learning – improvement cycle from a small-scale experiment to a larger implementation Plan. These four steps can be repeated over and over as part of a never-ending cycle of continual learning and improvement.”
At the time I learned a little about his PDSA cycle mentioned above. In the 30 years since I have discovered a simplified method of rapid improvement an learning that I talk about in my book Rapid Mastery by Harry Warrick.
The essence of the idea is that you take any task you must complete in your work. Write down the success steps necessary to create the ideal outcome, then practice those steps in the same order, and the same way every time you do that process.
This approach I would later learn can be applied to anything. Years after I had transitioned out of manufacturing I would apply the same techniques to sales calls, and later to the training of others as a Fortune 500 manager.
In order to put this process to work in your own mushroom operation you need to start taking notes and documenting your work. At first this will take more time for your activities. In time however this will help you reap tremendous rewards. No matter what you think your main expense is in your business I can tell you without any doubt what it is.
Your biggest expense is labor. In the beginning it is your labor, but in time this is magnified as you grow, hire staff, and train a workforce. So get it right now! Even if you have little money to invest in your business by becoming more productive fast you will increase your success as a business owner much faster as well.
When you discover hidden time in your day not only do you start living a more quality life personally, and professionally, you also start to increase your productivity and your profits. You will be able to accomplish much more with the same amount of effort as before.
So before we talk about improving your substrate (which we will) let’s talk about improving your processes. In order to improve the process remember we have to take a close look at the steps of the process we are trying to improve.
In the Corporate World you will often hear people talk about the fact that in different levels of an organization your view of the overall business process changes.
This is often referred to as the X-Amount View.
IE: The Top Level of a large company might have a 50,000 ft. view of the organization and what it does. Another way of saying this is that the executives see the big picture. They understand the entire process at a high level. They know each part of the business, but if they had to run a machine or get on a phone and answer a customer’s questions they would be lost.
An entry level worker has a 50 ft. view. They literally only see their job, and maybe some of the people in the office or location. They could not meet with someone and explain the business and how it works. But that is not their job.
I hope that makes sense to you. I am sharing all of that because I just want to explain the level that I want to show you several times in this short book. I want to show you the 50,000 ft. view of the mushroom growing business, and production. Then I want to show you some more methods and details you can use to improve your business at ground level.