SO YOU’VE DECIDED TO FIX ALL THE SYSTEMS THAT DON’T WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS, BUT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE DREADED VERSION 1?
So where do you start? This is the most common question asked by our customers, particularly when there is a change in management or a change in business conditions for their industry.
And the answer is, you need to focus on these elements:
– the VISION
– the TEAM LEADER
– PRIORITY, TIMEFRAME and BUDGET
– GO LIVE
What are trying to achieve. Be specific. Which division of the business do you want to focus on first. Is it sales, finance or production. It’s best to choose one at a time and not try and do all three at once.
VISION – Once you have a clear vision of what that business area needs to look like, you can share your vision with the team to get buy in from the staff. I’m sure it is obvious at this point that the wrong team members will ensure that the goal will not be achieved, so you may need to take stock and get the right people in place before you begin. Let’s assume this has already been done.
TEAM LEADER – The person with the VISION is rarely the same person who can turn that vision into reality. The visionary is a forward thinker that can see the end in mind but may not be the detail person you will need to make it happen at the operational level.
So now you have the vision and the buy in from the team, who will lead the team through the detail. The right team leader will help you assess the tasks and understand the natural order of events in a logical order.
PRIORITIES, TIMEFRAME, BUDGET – If stock on hand is not accurate, the return goods authorization system doesn’t work, and picking and packing is a bottleneck stopping future growth, analyze each issue and determine the logical order to start so that one issue leads onto the next. By the end of this process, you should know what needs to be done in each stage and a time frame for delivery.
A round table discussion on possible solutions will identify the strengths, weaknesses and cost in dollars and time. From here a decision is made as to the best way forward on each issue and your Team Leader will work towards GO LIVE.
GO LIVE – All the hard work has been done and you are ready to try out your new system that fixes everything. Beware the dreaded “Version One”.
One of the hallmarks of change management is that Version One rarely works. Version One takes away the comfort of your existing process and all of a sudden no one knows how to do their job anymore. This is enough to make most employees quit the new system and go back to what they were doing.
But what you were doing is no longer working. That’s why you are going through this process to begin with.
So you need to remind everyone that Version One is a stepping stone to the final solution and remind them to keep moving forward.
Version Two looks a little better and Versions Three and Four usually nail it.
So now you have reached “Nirvana” with the right people in the right jobs and a culture of change management throughout the business has your staff on a high and productivity is booming. They get it, they know how to improve systems and it’s done.
I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not done. It’s a constant process. But you know that already right?….Because you are in business.