Posts Tagged ‘system implementation’

Put your systems to the test

I would like to talk about systems. Some folks have no systems in place while others suffer from overkill. Finding a balance is essential for providing structure and accountability and still allowing for creativity and flexibility.

Whatever systems you decide to utilize they must be in sync with the following points:

  • Deliver desired results This may seem obvious but too many companies implement systems that are a good fit conceptually but do not provide a win with regard to practical application. If a system cannot be well done it will diminish results.

  • Is user friendly They must speak the language of your people. The view from upstairs is often quite different than that of the front line staff. If the employees believe the system is an obstacle there will be no buy in.

  • Consider the customer/client I believe if a survey of consumers were done regarding their objections in dealing with companies the lack of a resolution to their problems by way of employees quoting company policy would be at the top of the list. If this describes your company take the bull by the horns right away. You will not regret it.
  • Provide efficiency A great system that is slow and cumbersome is not great no matter how many times the creator of it tells you so. It may have potential and contain components that address key issues but if they get lost in the process you cannot benefit from them. A sequence of events is always important so A must get to B and then C quickly and efficiently.
  • Be measureable If a system does not deliver you need to know why. It may be that one or two pieces are in need of adjustment. If there is no way to gauge the progress you cannot make effective decisions about which parts to work on or how much tinkering to do.
  • Agree with core values Nothing diminishes credibility faster than a mixed message. This is typically not done intentionally. Many companies tend to develop priorities in a compartmental sense. They create initiatives without much regard to how they fit with current standards and practices. Starting with the core values of the company is a great way to insure that the ultimate message is consistent and it will provide a roadmap to assist in setting agendas and timelines.
  • Make sense financially At the end of the day if your system causes conflict because of lack of hard resources or manpower availability you must regroup. You cannot ask a staff member to do a job by themselves if it requires two or more people to perform the function properly. The same is true of actual hands on tools. If staff does not have what they need they will resent being asked to do something you have not equipped them to do. This only serves to dilute the importance of the system and the desired result.
  • Differentiate your company A great system will make customers tell others about you. It will keep a client with you long term. It can deliver value and be a partner to you in attracting new business. It will highlight your effectiveness and provide you a comparable advantage versus your competition.

The development and implementation of systems does not have to be relegated to the most organized and detail oriented people on your staff. It is beneficial to get feedback from all staff when possible. If that is done well everyone is invested in the success of the system. Understanding the value of systems is an essential piece in the arsenal of a smart manager.