Finding time to get it done
Do you feel like this?
Terrified of even thinking of taking on the work needed to get your systems in place. Where to start? It just seems to be so much work.
I’m not going to lie.
Putting systems together take a lot of work. Time, decisions, energy, even emotional energy. Even if you do delegate the task of documenting your systems to a team member (our preferred approach) you, as leader, must be involved with:
There really is a lot of time and energy needed to manage the process.
And if you do decide to collect and document your systems yourself, then the time involved will be increased substantially. Time you probably just don’t have. This is probably the main reason most business principals don’t document their systems well if at all.
So, how to get the work done so you can delegate responsibly and successfully to others and get your life back.
1. Give the work priority
We have found is the bottom line is the business founder/owner/general manager/executive team need to absolutely and fully behind getting workable systems in place. If this level of commitment is not there from the top from the beginning, then your systems will not happen. You or your team might get something in place, but the result will not be used by your staff, probably because they do not meet staff needs.
So, give this job the highest priority.
2. Understand the systemising process
Before you begin, understand the process you are going to use to get your systems documented.
Having a clear idea of the journey you are about to take, will give you a clear process for making decisions to get to the other end.
Systems2Grow gives you a clear step by step process to follow.
3. Segment the systemising process into chunks
How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite.
The Systems2Grow process briefly:
1. Plan your systems structure. What will be documented first then what will follow in order
2. Work out your priority systems. That is the ones which are the most crucial for making the business operate more effectively
3. Collect the detail content you or your team need to put into each system in place using the appropriate medium (video, images, text, audio, interview, attachments etc.)
4. Document each system as you get the content
5. Have each system reviewed as they are done
6. Publish once approved
Don’t try to do it all at once.
4. Delegate as many of the chunks as you can to someone else
This is often the hard bit. So many business owners tell me they can’t get anyone else to do this work because they are the only ones with the knowledge.
It might be true that you have all the knowledge. But the idea is that you get that knowledge documented so it is easy for others to pick up without you being involved.
So, let go and put team members in to do this work for you.
Once you have a clear idea of the outline of your systems (see 3. Above) then someone can start collecting information.
Interview and video are the two main ways we collect information from anyone with the knowledge.
As the owner/founder/senior manager etc. your job is to give the person collecting and documenting your systems the time to get them down right.
5. Start with the systems causing you the most grief
So, you have the plan listed in 3. above. It is long and overwhelming.
The thing is to start with the sections covering the tasks giving you the most grief.
In most businesses I deal with – these are the systems dealing with sales and delivery. After all these are the areas which bring in the money and where your staff interact with customers most often. This is where your brand is taken to the public and so this is the area where everyone needs to do their jobs your way, so the business looks the same, feels the same and operates the same across everything – whoever is doing the tasks.
Often these tasks fall into categories like this.
Making an appointment to discuss the project (the sale)
Converting the sale
Delivery of the product/service
Leaving the site
Follow up if required
Dealing with celebrations and complaints
6. Put regular time into calendars to get the systems tasks done
This does not just apply to you. It applies to the team members you have delegated getting some of this work done.
Make sure the delegation is not just wishful thinking. Follow up on getting the systems done.
7. Set up a system to keep you all accountable for getting the job done
What this means is you need to put a system in place to make everyone involved accountable for their part in the process.
Regular focussed meetings around the very clear plans you put in place at the beginning. Each meeting will:
What all this is saying is – even as you put the systems in place – you need to move yourself away from doing everything to managing the process and making sure everyone is finishing the job your way, on time and so everything starts to work.