My 6 Vital Systemisation Steps – The Process of Processing! – #0020

Let’s face it, even the most forward thinking, aggressive start ups always have a clown or two in the corner proclaiming “but, we’ve always done it that way”.  Even though there’s often big push back, I am a fan of processing and systematising as many parts of your business as early as possible. This week we look at HOW.
There is always a quicker, more efficient, cheaper, slicker, more automated way to do anything. Don’t forget, if bringing in a new system or process saves 10 people only 5 minutes a day each, it might not sound like much, but that’s 200 working hours a year, or 5 full time working weeks. In 5 years the perceived “head ache” of the process change has saved you 6 months full time hours and that’s if you don’t grow beyond the 10 heads you currently have.

Why and How

If you want read my thoughts on the benefits of constantly looking to improve systems and processes you can do so here. But today, after feedback from quite a few of you, my little nugget of wisdom I can pass onto you, is HOW I have done this over the years. There can be some intricacies to the “process of processing” especially if you have other people inside your business to consider.

6 Steps To Systemise

Now, this is relevant for a 500 people business or a solopreneur managing long term suppliers, so here we go:

1. The Problem:

Before designing the solution, first you must write a detailed account of the issues the current process is causing. If you manage people, this will help bring them on side when introducing change, if you are on your own, this will help bring crystal clear clarity to what is currently happening. It could be a bottle neck, or a complete break down in a certain part of the operation.

2. The Solution:

So many people try and overcomplicate these things. I’ve seen flow charts, apps, project management software and big presentations. I always feel the solution to the problem starts with a simple piece of paper. Write down in total clarity, the ideal outcome. What is the new process trying to achieve? What is the perfect scenario? How will this new outcome benefit your customer, AND the team carrying out the existing process?

3. Number of Reps

Get clear on how many reps per unit of time this new process will have to be performed.  If you are making coffees it could be 200 a day. If you are processing insurance applications it could be 20 per week. So include times per any reasonable given time unit. From there you can work out time and cost savings once the new process has been designed.

4. Opinions

Next you need to canvass the opinions of everyone that will be effected by the process change or the introduction of the new system internally. In my experience if everyone feels heard, it really helps with buy in later. Introducing something without asking the opinion of certain team members always leads to big push back, even if the new system makes their lives easier! Ask them, how can we best achieve step 2, and no longer have the problems of step 1 in our lives.

5. The Design:

With the opinions of the team and the desired outcome, and the number of times per any given time period this new process will have to be performed, now is the time to design the solution. Work back from the desired outcome. What’s the step before the end? And then the step before that. Once you work back and find yourself at the start of the process, look at it from start to finish. Is any step duplicated? Is there software to reduce the time of any step, or remove it completely. How much will this all cost? Then, test it.

6. Roll Out:

Finally before roll out get the most vocal naysayers on side. Sell it to them first. If they have 48 hours heads up their initial push backs won’t be in front of other more people. When announcing change, which often doesn’t go down too well, Others will look to them for validation and they are more likely to publicly approve if they have had some time to consider the change themselves.
No matter how you approach obvious and needed change, nothing should be off the table when tweaking and honing your machine. Think of your company as an F1 car. The driver as your team team. Where else can you tweak the engine to gain the next competitive advantage for your people?

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