As technical as it sounds, creating simples systems is actually more about your team than it is the technology behind it. Understanding the team you currently have, and the roles you’ll want to fill in the future will help you build processes that are structured, easy to follow, and encourage feedback from your team. The goal isn’t to simply create a system just to have one in place. You need a business system your team will use and benefit from using. Here’s how to build it.
Keep It Simple
If your team can’t absorb the procedures in one glance of the process map, you’ve included too many details. The goal is not to include every possible thing that could happen, but rather, to introduce what happens most of the time. You’ll have a usual way of doing things, and despite the fact you’ll face outliers every now and again, it’s easier to introduce the expected process and outcome instead of forecasting possible problems.
For example, your usual onboarding process for a client could likely be simplified to something similar to the below map.
Discovery Call > Packages Explained + Offered > Welcome package > Project launch
On occasion, however, you may experience a client who’s reaching out through a referral and is ready to sign on and start working right away. There’s no need to complicate the map with an alternative onboarding process for an event that happens once in a while.
Avoid Nitty – Gritty
Define the key steps in your system, then create tasks under each activity. Keep the business system map on a high level and expand on how each team member will perform the activity within the tasks.
Group together tasks that are naturally part of the main activity. It will make the work process smoother for your team.
For example, during the onboarding process of a new client, your tasks may include:
- Customize the welcome package with the client’s brand and logo
- Ask the client to fill out an onboarding questionnaire
- Build a timeline for the client’s project
- Establish a date and time for the initial project call
Rather than making each of these tasks a step in the business process map, simplify the map steps and include these tasks under one of the high-level steps as a checklist.
Steps Should Be Actionable
Every step in the business system should include an action word. Describing an action makes it less likely that anyone on your team will have trouble interpreting the step. Actionable items ensure tasks are handled in the same way no matter who is completing them.
Instead of saying ‘Brand the welcoming package’, define the task as ‘Insert client logo into welcome package’. When needed, create a walkthrough of how to do the task and store it in your SOP Manual. Include any images, videos, links, or photos in your SOP, and make sure your team understands exactly how to complete each task.
By simplifying your business systems, your team will use the map and rely on the document to work through each business task rather than creating their own way of managing responsibilities.
Address The Outliers
Once you’ve established a process map that addresses what happens most of the time, you must address what could happen once in a while. The simplest way to cover the ‘what if’ scenarios is to include notes inside each activity. Include any regulations that should be followed if an unexpected event should occur.
For example, when onboarding a new client, omitting the discovery phone call and services introduction may only occur 20 percent of the time, but your team should know how to speed up the process for a client who’s ready to begin a project right away. Include notes on how to handle that situation rather than introducing steps into the business process that will rarely be used.
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