Everyday I start with the intention of getting my ‘list’ done. Everyday I get to the end of the day and my ‘list’ isn’t any shorter…in fact, it’s usually bigger!
Use this simple tool to avoid repeating the same mistakes in your company.
Most people blame someone for issues that occur in the day-to-day running of business. Another employee, the customer or themselves. ‘Why didn’t I think more and do it properly?” We’d all love to employ people who don’t make mistakes but reality is…everyone does and we need to plan for that. But there just aren’t enough of those people around!! 😉 Robust systems can account for anyone running a process and can minimise the fallout when the operator gets it wrong. Do the thinking upfront – once, so that no-one needs to think again when they come to the same situation next time.
An Issues Register helps identify, discuss and solve issues making your business run smoothly. It is designed to record inefficient and/or negative processes that drain time and resources in the day-to-day running of your business. The purpose of the Issues Register is to create systems to avoid repetitive issues.
This process is tailored for each business but follows a general pattern:
- Issue is identified and written on the Issues Register
- Issue is discussed in a weekly meeting
- The risk is assessed and given a risk rating
- From the discussion, a “preventative action” is identified.
- An accountable person is to be assigned to be responsible for coordinating the solution
- A due date is assigned to the responsible person
- Resolution of the issue is reported upon at the next meeting.
It has an inbuilt risk matrix to help identify how the issue ssess the risk the issue poses to the operation and those objective risk ratings now allow our team to prioritise which issue needs to be addressed first.
Issues are ‘opportunities’ to improve your system to prevent that issue from ever disrupting the flow of work again. They are points where the system is either not strong enough or not present at all. For example: if someone makes a mistake in placing an order – your system is either not comprehensive enough to prevent the error the individual has made or the system hasn’t been taught thoroughly enough to the individual.
Ownership – if you don’t want a situation to occur, then you need to put measures in place to prevent it from occurring again.
It is important that anyone can raise an issue as they see it… as it is in their eyes – an issue. This then gives the team an opportunity to sit down and discuss the issue to see if ‘others have the same issue’ (is it systemic?) and to get a cross section of solutions for this issue. It also means people have an opportunity to resolve ‘road blocks’ that they may encounter that make their life more difficult.
A great benefit of the issue resolution process below is that it gives other people within your organisation the opportunity to “apply their expertise” to fix something. Everyone loves to be ‘the expert’, and most like to think that they are an expert at what they do. Therefore if they can resolve an issue in their field of expertise, this gives ownership and highly increases the likelihood of conformance with the procedures in place.
Another great benefit of having others design and formalise systems or processes, is that they can help consolidate learnings for new or inexperienced people. They can document the process and then submit it to a leader for approval. This provides an opportunity for learning (leader can provide corrections to the documented process) and it also provides confidence to the person conducting the activity that they are doing the right thing. It also can provide ‘support’ to an employee in the event that a leader is a poor communicator. If instructions are always given verbally and there is continually a ‘breakdown’ in communication (ie the employee fails to listen and do as they are told), there is a possibility that the instructions have not been given clearly in the first place. In this event, having a documented process for this line of communication removes the chance that either party can get it wrong.
Process for resolving issues:
Issue is identified and written on the register
The issue is discussed in a weekly meeting (either for dealing with issues (if early in your systems development) or as part of another meeting (if you have advanced systems))
The risk is assessed and given a risk rating
From the discussion, a “preventative action” is identified.
An accountable person is to be assigned (not necessarily who is going to do the work, but the “owner” of it who will be responsible for coordinating the solution)
A due date is assigned to the responsible person (accountability is set)
Resolution of the issue is reported upon by the accountable person.
I’ve operated with an “Issues Register” for years.
There are more resources on these processes within this website, however if you wish to discuss anything raised above, please contact me on the link below.