Leaders with a clear business vision may still struggle to know how to build a system that works. They want to turn their ideas into reality, but unsure how. And leaders can find the numerous technology choices overwhelming. Business leaders need a solid method to help them build confidently and quickly.
In this article we’ve brought together some practical steps to help leaders to turn ideas into practice. This follows on from How to create a System for your Business covering the initial creative process.
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Leaders choose to build a business system for a few reasons. A well organised business system brings clarity and peace of mind. It improves business performance and enhances employee and customer experience. If leaders want to scale the business, it needs a good business system.
People Deserve an Effective Business System
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Building a business system involves turning ideas into practice. Leaders can feel uncertain how to move forward. They may feel overwhelmed by technology choices. And they also worry how employees and customers will adapt and receive the changes.
Moving away from the system in people’s heads
When you build a business system, you’re moving away from the system being in people’s heads. When it’s all in their heads, it’s stressful and can create bottlenecks. Holding everything in their heads means they don’t have the headroom to be creative. You’re looking to organise the system so that you can automate and achieve consistent high quality. Typically, leaders use technology to enhance the business system to make it easier and faster to operate.
When a business doesn’t have an organised system, it can result in gaps and lost opportunities. You tend to see more firefighting and employee stress.
Firstly, you’ll need to create a more detailed view of the high-level business activities. This detail shapes the unique system for your business. Typically, this starts with process flows that show the sequence of tasks and any decisions. Brainstorming the events or triggers that start a process can help avoid gaps, for example “receive an order” or “change an order”. You’ll also want to review existing processes to improve them for the future and consider areas for automation.
By studying a process, you’ll see how information flows round your business. And you’ll see what information you need to store. When you build a business system, information is vital. At a high-level it’s information such as “order” or “customer”. It’s important to get into the detail, such as what information is in an order, what are the fields and what are the valid values. You’ll often find the same information used in various parts of the business. You may also find that the same information appears in different forms, for example a customs declaration and a bill of laden.
The next step to build a business system is to look for technology that can help. When you look at the tasks within a process, some require a person, and some can be automated. You want to identify the goals that a user wants to achieve in each task. This gives you a list of use cases to shortlist technology.
Plan for Change
There’s complexity in changing a business that’s up and running. Successful business leaders have a clear overview and plan for change. Every operating business will have a business system but is it driving the business forward and what’s holding it back? Building a better business system enables the ideas and aspirations of an entrepreneur come to fruition. The business system is what enables leaders to scale and improve performance.