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January 26, 2015

This month we've challenged your business to create a system a month and discussed different types of systems. If you're like most business owners, this might still seem a little daunting. Where are you going to find create time to document a system a month? The good news is you don't have to, your business does. Getting staff involved in the systemization of your business is something that should happen as soon as you are comfortable with the process.   


Staff involvement takes some training and thus time, but the investment is worth the time. When your staff is involved in systems they have ownership in not just creating the systems, but in using them on a day to day basis. In addition, dedicating more resources to the process allows the business to realize the impact of systems earlier than if you try to do it all yourself.   Also if you look at the value of your time as a business owner, typing up a system is not the best use of your time. Your attention needs to be on the strategic planning and the vision of the systems, not on the technical details.   Here are four tips to get your staff started in system design:  

Hire for the Job - Remember that creating systems is not everyone's forte. Can everyone learn? Possibly, though you might not have the time to teach them. You want to match system creation up with skills and attributes, just as you do when hiring any other position. This might match up to someone's job duties. If someone doesn't have the right characteristics and attributes it doesn't mean they can't participate in system creation. For instance, if you have someone who isn't great at documenting a system, but has the knowledge that needs to be captured you might have an employee interview them to get the needed information to document the system.

Make Sure They Understand Systems - A common mistake when asking staff to help develop systems is to do so without explaining the why. Without understanding the big picture they will develop the systems from their point of view, which is often lacking the detail you need to make the systems work. Take the time to train them on the importance of the system and how and why these will be used in the future.

Start with a Rough Draft - Don't expect staff to have a perfect system out of the gate. It won't happen. In fact, start with asking them to outline the steps as the first rough draft. After they have a rough outline, ask them to go back and provide details to each step. Once the steps are clear and detailed have them add it to your system template adding additional information as needed.

Set Milestones - There is a fine line between abdication and delegation. Yes, you want your staff involved in the creation of systems, but you still need to be involved. As with any project you delegate to your staff you should have a clear due date with appropriate milestones in-between. The first few times your staff creates systems there will be a need for more milestones as they are learning the process of system design. As you get into the swing of creating systems the number of check-ins can decrease, but be wary of abdication. It does no good to have systems if the systems are not designed in the manner you expect your business to run.

One system a month. 12 systems by the end of 2015. Imagine the improvements that you and your staff could experience. We hope that you accept our 2015 Systems Challenge and work to building a better business.


See Also:

Systems In Action
Simplifying Systems

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