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So your System is in place and everyone in the company has a job description and Processes for how to carry out their job in a way that fits in with the corporate Vision and Mission. Great work! But you’re not done yet. Systemization is a long-term project without an end, and you must now work on the continuous refinement of your Policies, Procedures and Processes, and experiment with new ways to improve each of them.
So how do you do this? According to Michael Gerber in ‘E-Myth Revisited’, continuous improvement of your System happens through a cycle of "Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration."
Innovation is about finding a better way to do things, like creating a new Policy, Process or Procedure, or improving an existing one. It’s doesn’t necessarily need to be the ‘best’ way, but thinking about what the best way is, will help you create a ‘better’ way. That’s powerful enough in itself.
emyth.com have a great 6 step process to tackle this innovation:
Quantification is key because it helps you work out if your Policies, Processes and Procedures are successful or if you need to make any changes. Here’s how you will go about Quantifying your System…
Orchestration is all about documenting, implementing and delivering training on your System. You’ll be regularly communicating with your employees to drive this new System, so it’s important to constantly reinforce the company Vision and how this System is going to help deliver it.
To learn the best way of sharing the System with the rest of your company, check out our new eBook.
In his book ‘Systems Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business’ Philip Paul Beyer describes a System Buster as “Any event that causes chaos in – or ‘busts’ our System of operation”. In the ISO 9001 world of quality assurance, they are called ‘Non-Conformances’, but they are essentially the same.
Beyer explains there are two different types of System Busters:
Whatever kind of System Buster, it must be reported, so you can investigate and fix the System. If you operated to ISO9001 you would do this by creating a Non-Conformance Report, which includes:
Beyer adopts a similar approach using an online form he calls the ‘System Buster’ form. The person who catches the System Buster submits the form to management detailing as much information as they can, then it’s over to management to investigate the issue, identify if it was a personal or System error, and decide how to fix it.
For Systems issues, the resolution is an amendment to the System, which is simple enough. For Personal Errors, it gets a little more complicated. This is where you need to speak to the person responsible for the non-conformance and restate your vision for the System and what you are trying to achieve, in an attempt to get them on board and enthused about it.
In the final article of the series, we’re going to show you how to digitize your Systems using software technology.