Following up on our last blog – System is not a 4 Letter Word
We’re now exploring how to move strategy to actually planning the design of your system.

1. Plan your Systems Project

Start by answering these questions

  • What are my goals? (business and/or personal)
    • Look at the business in its parts – operations, finance, HR etc
  • What tasks/processes do I need to systemise/improve
  • What are my priorities?
    • Where is the biggest payoff, Or
    • What is the quickest win?
  • How much time will I dedicate to this project each week? Over what period of time?
  • How will I/my team use these systems?

Watch out!! If you increase your clients – do you have the systems in place to manage this? Also, think about using your current software or tools in another way or adding easily accessible online tools.

2. Determine the Desired Outcome

What do you want each process to achieve?
Start each process with a purpose statement

  • The purpose of this process is_______ (= outcome)

3. Map out the Steps

  • Use the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid!) –
  • Grab a Pen and paper and start writing
  • Begin with the high-level steps – what’s the first thing, next thing etc etc
  • Start with a verb – “send”, “inform”, “approve” etc

4. Examine the Steps

  • Which steps can be Automated?
  • Which steps can be Assigned?
  • Which steps can be Eliminated?
  • Which steps can be Improved?
  • Do you really need to be doing it? Does it add value?

5. Test and Measure

  • Use the system
  • Time the system
  • “Get feedback on the system
  • What worked and what didn’t

Process Mapping

As you move from concept to actualisation it’s handy to get your processes down on paper – there are a few ways of doing this – the method you choose will depend on the type of process as well as what suits your business and, your way of thinking.

Here are some examples:

  • Mindmaps
  • Flowcharts
  • Sticky notes
  • Checklists – these are good for a start – build this up into each step in the list

What can go wrong with Systemisation?

  • Stopping and Starting
    • Lose your momentum and focus
  • Being unclear on desired outcomes
  • Focusing on low value tasks, rather than
    • high value tasks, or
    • quick wins (the low hanging fruit)
  • Reinventing the process each time
  • Expecting perfection immediately
  • Buying unnecessary software, other resources

REMEMBER – As a business owner, consultant, virtual professional or entrepreneur you have limited resources – time, money and hands. Systems (done well) can :

  • Strengthen your brand
  • Honour your work and your lifestyle
  • Make everything run more smoothly
  • Reduce your stress by saving you time and energy

When you create systems and replicable work habits, your business can gain momentum and become more successful. Leaving you with time and energy for other, more fulfilling and profitable work.