Circle of Mystery: A Business System Collapse
A mystery that eludes most business professionals is, THE WHY — cause for their business system collapse. I discovered the simple answer, the hard way.
Unexpectedly, in the process of my relentless tweaking of our written systems, I discovered the solution to the mystery, the root cause, for WHY they kept failing.
Actually, I was at the point of total frustration and thinking of quitting, when an epiphany changed everything. I suddenly realized that every business process system we implemented stopped working, because it had a GAP. That’s it!
To clarify, when thinking of a system as a continuous circle, a GAP is simply a break, a hole in the system. Like a train track missing a section! So, when gaps occur in the processes, there’s bound to be a business system collapse. This requires management’s standing in the GAP and pushing the “system wheel forward.”
That being the case — when there’s a business system collapse, you can bet your last dollar there’s a prompt missing, a hole that stops the system moving along.
Example of a Business System Collapse
When inputting specifications into an estimate, work order, or any on-boarding process, many times employees will FAIL to key-in critical information or specs. As a result, mistakes and miscommunication occurs, causing even more system stoppage. (Not to mention, the mental breakdown of the boss!)
What happened? The WHY! Simple! Again, there was NO PROMPT for the employee to key-in THAT critical piece of information.
MYSTERY OF THE CIRCLE, SOLVED!
You say, “That’s too simple … that’s only common sense.” You’re right! But, think for a minute of events happening in your company; the countless times people fail to do things. It’s important to realize, this failure to do things important to operations is due to forgetting. Yes, FORGETTING!
Again, a simple reason with a SIMPLE FIX!
Admittedly, implementing these systems, these simple fixes, can be monotonous and time consuming.
Oh, but the peace and prosperity that comes when they’re done!
Systems that Keep the Process Moving
Here are examples of a few KEY systems to keep ALL systems moving effortlessly, without someone having to step in the GAP to move operations forward. These systems/tools will prompt people on what to do, to move a process along without stoppage. To put it another way, these systems are gap-closers?
- Master Control System for all jobs, service or projects is a key system to close the gaps.
- Daily Routine Checklists for all key personnel will also prompt employees into action; no need for a hovering manager.
- Quality Control Systems with checklists for all major processes not only ensures quality and service, but includes other prompts for action. Prompts to keep business operations humming!
To be clear, there are other systems to implement to ensure every phase of the business is operating smoothly. More importantly, these give employees tools to manage themselves, thus avoiding constant oversight by supervisors.
The System for Closing Gaps, Permanently
The System Buster Locator will ensure compliance by ALL personnel. Some business gurus call this CAPA — a Corrective Action – Preventative Action system. This works by simply holding all personnel accountable for compliance, by having them sign their “John Hancock” on a Corrective Action, stating the reason, for non-compliance of a system.
Remember, employees receive PAY for doing a job. Clearly, they are NOT conforming to and utilizing a system for no pay. Good Quality and Service should be Job No. 1 for everyone!
With this in mind, management shouldn’t be intimidated by any employee opposition.
NOTE: Without this system in place, eventually there will be a business system collapse. Unless owners and managers stand in the gap!
Employees Response to Precise Systems
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to witness that, once employees KNOW there’s a CAPA system monitoring all systems, they DO comply.
Even more amazing — when employees see the benefits of a systematized organization, they embrace it, promote it, and more importantly, don’t want to leave it. I’ve seen it again and again!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.