Bruce French: Business Analyst Mentor
To start with, let’s define what systems are!
Put simply… they are the way you do things in your business.
Systems are methods, procedures or processes designed to achieve specific results. They are a series of interrelated steps that work together to produce greater outcomes.
Obviously, there are benefits in having systems documented in one manner or another – be it on paper, or digitally for others to follow at any point in time. Systems are ultimately the only way you can assure that you will be delivering reliable, consistent and measurable results to your business’ standard, every time.
As a business analyst mentor, I’ve identified some key benefits for developing and maintaining effective systems within your business:
~ Reduce the time it takes to run the business
When you develop systems in your business, your are creating leverage. You are doing the hard work (thinking) up front, (as it is hard to develop good systems), and you are preparing a platform so others don’t need to deal with this issue again. You are creating a path for others to follow. This removes the opportunity for people to waste time, reduces the risk of mistakes and enables you to specify efficient and effective ways of achieving your desired outcome. People can be trained and they can follow the specified steps. All these processes, reduce the issues that can go wrong and reduce the need for the owner to over see every step to ensure people are doing the right thing. Effective systems streamline the day to day running of the business so you can give that task to someone else, allowing you to focus on the customer.
~ Allow you to consistently exceed customer expectations
Effective systems promote measurement. They require you to quantify the less tangible things in your business so you can measure things like quality, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and success. Once you have been able to define and place a measurement on customer satisfaction, you can then set goals within your business that exceed these measurements.
~ Drive reliable consistent results and quality, all the time.
Systems identify the steps and procedures to produce a result. If the same series of steps are followed each time, with the same resources, you will get the same result. Systems include robust training programs that instill your company’s way in your team, so they can simply follow the steps to produce the same results that would be attained if you were to do them. They include a series of check points to ensure consistency and reliability and these are what drive the results that you receive in your business daily.
~ Increase productivity and performance (they provide clarity of required results for the individual – aligned with company objectives)
As mentioned above, individual goals are derived from your organisational goals, and consequently create accountability. When individuals meet their goals, the business will be hitting its goals creating a win-win-win scenario as your customer will also be happy. Clear goals for your team members mean that they know clearly what they are to do. I have seen it many times when individuals have been “doing the wrong thing to the best of their ability” simply because they thought that was what they were mean to be doing. This is obviously a terrible result for the individual’s moral and the businesses results. Clear systems ensure clear goals and targets which produce higher levels of productivity and performance.
~ Reduce costs
Systems allow continuous improvement which removes waste from the business. Time is saved through increasing focus and clarity of responsibilities, resources are saved due to people adhering to efficient pathways consistently and minimal rework as the quality of output is higher. Effective systems will significantly reduce costs throughout your business.
~ Create Organisation within the business
Good systems provide structure, and a way to complete each task to maximise organisation. We’ve all heard the saying “everything having a place and everything in its place”… this is the result of effective systems that are understood and implemented by all those involved.
~ Establish processes for resolving issues
Issues within your business impact quality, process time, delivery and reliability, how your team works together… potentially, issues can impact any part of your business. It is the process of efficiently and effectively resolving these issues that removes waste from your business and allows your business to run by itself. If however your team don’t have a clear process for the resolution of issues, they will get “stuck” on issues and not know what to do next (unless they have as much initiative as you! But we can’t guarantee they will have this!) Therefore, providing a clear and simple process for all personnel to resolve issues within the organisation increases productivity, moral and reduces their reliance on you to solve these issues continually. This is about empowerment, and everyone loves being empowered, so they can impress the boss!
~ Increase Profitability
Increased performance and productivity with a reduction in costs and resources equals an increase in profitability. Measurable objectives within systems will include establishing goals of increasing profitability and identifying pathways to achieve these goals. An increase in profitability is often the byproduct of effective systems.
~ Enable the team to focus on market facing activities
When the business is running itself with minimal issues, people (particularly key personnel) are able to lift their heads and look out from the things on their desk and at the trends and influences on the rest of the market. This creates opportunity and promotes strategic planning. Critical thinking and market understanding will be your edge on your competition. Minimise the time that your are required in the business and maximise the time where you can lead it and guide it through the next crisis!
Systems Strategy and a well-experienced business analyst mentor helps businesses design specific systems for their business that are in line with their culture and core values in order to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
If you want to know more about how to develop systems in your business to reap some of the benefits listed above, click on the link below or go to our contact page to get in touch with me.
All the best, and I hope your business runs like clockwork!