Running an effective and efficient business requires systemisation. Systemisation determines the quality of the product delivered and the cost of delivering that product. It is about the “nuts and bolts” of how you do things and enables your business strategy.
Your business systems are much more than the technology that you use. Systemisation refers to the manner in which your workflow is organised to deliver quality output in a low-cost, time-effective manner. Systems alone, such as the fastest computers and largest servers, cannot transform your business.
A comprehensive programme centred on People, Process and Systems is required for meaningful business transformation. “Systemisation" underpins the transformation effort. It refers to building efficiency and effectiveness into your business through aligning People, Process and Systems.
The table below compares and contrasts key characteristics of poorly and well-systemised businesses.
|Poorly Systemised||Well Systemised|
|Staff undertake the tasks at hand but in their own way. Individuals perform the same task differently in a manner that is convenient to them.||Individuals will perform the same task in the same fashion in line with a pre-determined best practice.|
|Product delivery likely to be error prone both in terms of quality and timeliness.||Significantly lower error rates. Faster speed to market.|
|Issue management (such as chasing misplaced orders) difficult, particularly when staff members are away.||Problems more speedily addressed and corrected. Staff members pick up where others have left off.|
|Communication within the team difficult as everyone “does their own thing”. Self-centred behaviours such as “empire building” and “knowledge hoarding” more prevalent.||Team-based behaviours with greater collaboration and information sharing.|
|No change to the status quo over time.||Continuous improvement as teams share knowledge enhancing best practice over time.|
|Systems, people and processes at odds with each other creating tension and anxiety in the workforce.||Systems, people and processes working harmoniously with a happier, more productive workforce|
A well-systemised, winning business will have the following characteristics:
- Agreed policies and procedures. These practices are documented in a user friendly form.
- Accessibility of information. Documented procedures are made available to relevant staff, preferably on your business’s intranet.
- Consistency and standardisation. The same tasks are performed in the same way by different team members.
- Competency. Each team member has received the necessary training to ensure that they have the skills to undertake their job in line with best practices as set out in policies and procedures.
- Preservation of knowledge. Feedback on existing policies and procedures is garnered from team members through forums such as meetings, suggestion boxes or internal “chat” rooms.
- Continuous improvement. The “team” takes ownership of policies and procedures and see it as in their own interests to have the most efficient and effective policies and procedures possible.
Systemisation therefore brings together People, Process and Systems. Focussing on any of the three individually may provide some marginal benefits to your business. But, it is of little use to have well-documented policies and procedures unless staff are trained in these practices and proficient with the systems to implement them. Carefully constructing a programme which fully integrates and aligns People, Process and Systems will give your business the winning edge.
If you have systemisation problem that you feel is limiting your business, it is time to seek professional advice. Call our office on (02) 9299 7044 and talk to one of our advisers. A more efficient and profitable business is just a phone call away.