A few years back, I was working in administration for a medium-sized company that was growing rapidly.
As we accumulated more and more work, the processes that suited our company in the beginning began unravelling at the seams.
Our management team had already anticipated that a change was needed if we were to grow efficiently and effectively.
One of the things we so desperately needed was a way to keep track of our expanding library of documentation. So, we decided to implement a document control system.
In theory, the company was doing the right thing - establishing a good system so that we could increase efficiency and productivity.
However, when it came time to actually start, the management team fell into some common traps which made implementation of this new system almost impossible.
As the nominated systems manager, I saw it all firsthand and I want to use my experience to warn other business managers about some common mistakes companies make when implementing new systems.
If you want to implement business systems that work, don't do the following:
- Don't cut the systems manager out of meetings that discuss system development.
The person on the front line needs to be able to know the process inside and out, understand the decisions that have been made, and hear the common problems that managers want to be able to overcome. If that person is left out of the communication loop, you are expecting them to create and implement a system with only half the information that they need.
- Don't try to get too many people involved in the decision making process.
It's essential to have a management team that cares about what different departments need from business systems, but when managers can't see eye-to-eye, there can be more wheel-spinning than action. There should be one executive decision-maker (might be the MD or similar) who is committed to prioritising growth and moving the company forward together.
- Don't try and recreate what hasn't worked in the past.
Good systems solve problems. If you are overhauling your old system, it's most likely because it's no longer effective. Get clear on the issues that you had with the previous system and come into any planning meetings focussed on the problems that need to be solved by a new system.
Are you planning an overhaul of your business systems? Do you want to learn how your business can make a seamless transition and keep growing?
If you’d like to talk more about the best way to implement new business systems, ask to discuss this topic with me the next time we meet, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.