Businesses processes are the heart of the day-to-day operations of a business.
I have written about the importance of hiring the right people, setting up the right team, and really building a culture that aligns with your business values. Those things are important, but is it equally important that your team of people are operating the effective processes in your business.
Michael Gerber has famously said that “systems run a business and people run the systems.”
This approach can be helpful for thinking about getting your systems to run effectively in your business.
There are many different ways to run a business successfully, but every long-term successful business is organised.
Further, no one wants to lose key staff, but losing staff is an inevitable part of running a business. When staff leave, their job roles need to include processes which someone else of the same technical ability would be able to pick up.
You want to be able to plug new staff into existing processes.
1) Write your systems and processes down
This one is an oldie but a goodie.
It’s well and good for a staff member to follow a process they understand themselves, but it’s critical it gets written down.
One key reason for this is if either they go on leave or depart the business.
If a staff member leaves, then whatever is in their head which was not written down goes with them.
That means you’ll have to reinvent the wheel for processes that aren’t written down. This can be costly in the time it takes.
2) Communicate them properly
Your processes are no good if no one knows what they are.
Once you’ve got all of your processes documented and saved, they can’t just be sitting four sub-folders deep on the cloud. People need to actually know what they are.
Your team members should be aware of what process they are following, and how to follow it.
An easy way to implement this might be diagrams around the office.
Usually, people remember diagrams easier and they might actually visually show the process more effectively.
However you do it, whether you use words or diagrams, your processes need to be communicated, or no one will follow them.
3) Proactively update your processes
So you’ve written your processes down and communicated them. But what happens when things change?
One of the only thing that is the same about business, is that things are always changing.
Software changes, people think of new ideas – there are a number of reasons why it’s a good idea to update processes.
But once you change what you are doing, you need to document it.
Updating your systems and processes should be an ongoing project and you should be open to new ideas and innovations.
4) Make sure your CURRENT processes are visible to everyone
Every time you update your processes, everyone who might use that process needs to know about it.
It’s often the case with businesses that people are referring to and outdated process or guide when there is an updated version available.
It is critical that the most updated versions of all your processes are available to everyone.
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