After a brief meeting, two project managers have the following conversation:
“You ever take a step back and look at how we track our projects?”
“What do you mean?”
“It seems like we’re doing double the work. Orders are created on our accounting system, but we have to manually add orders to a project-tracking spreadsheet.”
“I never thought of it as being perfect, but that’s just the way it’s always been. If it’s not broke, why fix it?”
“Since we first implemented this system, the business has grown 10 times over. Processes that worked well in the past may not efficiently support what we do now. We need to take a fresh look at our current system to see how we might use it more effectively to do business today and moving forward.”
This is just one of many examples of how when businesses grow, getting the job done becomes more difficult. The resources and time of team members are stretched thin. The status quo may have worked in the past, but that may not necessarily fit with the present. Perhaps taking a step back to look at how tasks get done will help your business avoid roadblocks. When the software your company uses is better aligned with clear instructions, productivity rises and morale soars.
Taking the effort to document and update how a team member performs their job will help the company make more informed decisions regarding their software needs. Live documentation will point out inefficiencies when a company grows. Just like you wouldn’t want to change the tires on an eighteen-wheeler with tools designed for a passenger car, procedures and tools used to run a million-dollar business probably won’t work for a ten-million-dollar business. Users will have a system that works for them instead of a system that works against them.
An ongoing review provides two key benefits to the business: finding bottlenecks quicker and more accurately; and reduce pain felt by team members from change. Each area of a business, like the sales department, will go through periods of ups and downs in terms of productivity. Regular monitoring identifies which area needs more help getting back up to speed. Neglecting to adjust may create a snowball effect, leading to a point where it seems like the momentum can’t be stopped. Periodic monitoring enables small changes to be the cultural norm, not one where it’s okay to kick the can down the road.
When the documentation shows weaknesses in a company’s processes, there may be undiscovered features from your current software to help strengthen them. Companies should keep an open dialogue with the current software provider. They can help the company discover features suited to fit their new needs. These hidden gems may have been buried for years, but their value may not have been sought after until now.
Quick fixes can be an easy way out, but add unnecessary complexity to a company’s workflow as it grows. Taking the time to assess the current state of the business is a worthy investment of time and resources. Change can be difficult, but even more so is lost sales due to low productivity. Is your company handcuffed by old processes?
About the Author, Eric Davis
Eric Davis serves as the Systems and Support Analyst at MVS Alliance. He provides back-end support as well as develop systems of work for customers. Eric studied at Eastern Michigan University, earning a Bachelor Degree of Finance and a MBA with a specialty in Finance. During his time in college, Eric played on the Eagles’ football team, earning a scholarship and becoming a captain by his senior year.
Outside of the company, Eric Davis is an Investment Analyst and Investment Adviser Representative at Revalue, LLC, an independent investment advisory firm. Eric is also the Offensive Line coach for Southgate Anderson High School’s Varsity football team.
Eric is a Level III candidate in the CFA Program.