Three Tips to Help Systemise a Business

Systemising a business can be overwhelming to begin with but it doesn’t need to be.  I have outline three of my top tips below that will get you started on your business systemisation journey:

 

1. Start with the work, NOT the IT

IT is not the place to start when it comes to systemisation, it plays a part, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Firstly, you must start with the work that your business does. The wrong use of IT could cost you more time than not using it at all. It is vital to pick the right tool for the right job. So best practice is understanding the business process and how they fit together first, then start to think about the use of IT to support the process. This way the IT will be fit for purpose and fully utilised.

 

2. Understand your business end to end

Split the work that your business does into the what and the how:

The What – maps out all the work a business does and puts it into a logical order. It’s vital to understand what the business does or wants to do as a first step and to understand how these areas of work interact. A simple way to do this is writing everything down on post it notes and putting them into the order of work to create a process diagram. I go into more detail about ‘the what & the how’ in my other blog here [LINK HERE]

 

The How – thanks to the high level understanding, the how can be methodically approached. If the end to end understanding is not in place then it can get highly confusing to delve into the detail without an overall understanding of the end to end activities within the business. The how is documented as processes and procedures.

 

3. Prioritise

 To understand where best to prioritise first think about the challenges that the business faces, and if they can be worked on through improving processes or systems in the business. Use this understanding to prioritise which processes to work on first. Take a look at the matrix below that is used to plot each process in terms of their impact and the effort to improve them. The top priorities should be the processes with the highest impact and the least effort.

 

Finally, make sure that your processes are a continuous work in progress, improvement is not something to be abandoned once the systemisation project is over.

 

In summary, to make rapid progress with systemsing a business it’s best to:

  • Start with understanding the work first instead of worrying about the IT
  • Map out the work that gets done, starting with what and progressing down into the detail of how the work gets done
  • Prioritise areas for improvement instead of waiting until all areas are ready to go

If you would like to find out more about systemising your business, please contact me on james@time-scale.co.uk

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