Identifying the Key Systems Your Business Needs to Succeed

 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” – Corinthians

Your Business is a System of Systems

In a very real way, your systems strategy is your business strategy, and the business systems you put in place are your business.

Keep in mind the idea of the “franchise prototype,” the idea that should create your business as if you were going to replicate it “5,000 times.” The idea that, if you do it right, your business will run itself – systematically, predictably, flawlessly. The idea that systems dependency works, and people dependency does not. The Idea that systems, rather than dehumanizing your people, free them to do the work that matters.

Also keep in mind that systems are dynamic. Your business is an organism and, like a living organism, it grows and changes with time and experience. You don’t simply put a system in place, and then let it run forever. It will become obsolete as your markets change, your business grows, and Murphy’s Law (‘if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong”) operates. Systems ignored become bottlenecks, roadblocks and albatrosses.

Most especially, keep in mind that the idea that the systems of your business are integrated. One system links to another, the output from one system is the input to another, and the changes to one system impact all systems “downstream” from it. Synergy is the result. Your business is more than the sum of its parts. Or it should be.

Some Systems Philosophy You Should Know

A system has a purpose; it produces a result. An effective system produces the exact result you intend it to produce, and it does so like clockwork, predictably, on time, on budget, every time. Reliability is the hallmark of an effective system. When all your systems are working reliably to produce the intended results, and they are integrated with each other, then your business operates reliably. So much so that you can offer the following guarantee to your customers: “On time, every time, exactly as the customer expected, or we pay for it.”

A system is either intentional or accidental. Either you intentionally developed and installed the system, or it simply “Happened” as the random result of the activities of your people. Is there any doubt which is better? Which approach results in a business that works?

The point is that you should proactively create every system, not merely let them happen randomly. And every system should have a specific purpose – a result it is responsible for producing.