Do you find that you must always be around for things to work out? Or that things seem to fall apart whenever you’re not actively involved? This comes down to putting systems and processes in place so let’s take a look at what that means.

 

Systematising is the process of documenting everything you do in your business – from the way you quote, deliver your services, make your products, through to answering the phone. By documenting these processes, you’ll be able to:

 

  • Handle things as you expand: Whether its streamlining the onboarding people or a ramp up in demand, documenting processes and doing them “one way same way” makes them repeatable so you’re better able to cope with a growing business and customer base
  • Better consistency and predictability: These systems make sure that tasks and actions are completed by following documented processes meaning more a consistent outcome is achieved and more predictable inputs or effort is required
  • Reduce uncertainties: Implementing the right systems in your business can minimise uncertainties, both at the individual process level and more broadly across the business. In turn, this can minimise the risks of things falling apart when you are not there physically to spearhead activities
  • Better alignment and control: Systematisation helps you sync your business operations, empowers your employees and helps to get more control over your processes by standardising how they’re done, when, and by whom
  • Employee engagement: Documenting business processes will help your employees know what to do when you are not around, in turn engaging them more closely in the way the business is run and how their efforts impact it
  • Best Practice blueprint: By systematising the business, the documented output serve as an outline or blueprint on your business, an indispensable artefact if you’re looking to sell, spin-off, or restructure the business. More fundamentally though, it provides a best-practice baseline which can be continuously improved and streamlined over time

 

Takeaway activity:

1) Getting started: In our experience, there are three options on where to start-

  • Option 1, customers- start with documenting processes that makes it easier to win, convert and onboard customers in order to grow revenue
  • Option 2, pain points- take note of things that go wrong, such as customer complaints, or issues that your team always seem to be asking you about
  • Option 3, business functions- most business have a sales, marketing, finance and operations function, so start by documenting the key processes in each of these areas

2) Map the current state: It’s important to first document what you’re doing at the moment without jumping the gun to ‘what could be’ (i.e. step 3 below). At a minimum, you’d be looking to document what the steps are, in what order, and who does them- take a look at our process mapping guide for further assistance

 

3) Improve the process: There are many many many “process improvement” methodologies out there that we’re not going to get in to, but essentially this involves-

  • Defining the ideal or ‘to-be’ process… What steps could be changed or removed? Could the process be automated?
  • Understand the gap… What needs to change? Who’s involved? What are the various options and opportunities?
  • Develop an action plan to change the process… What option/opportunity should be done first? What are the priorities?

 

Further reading