Mangement For Design

Business Journal 106

Does Having the Right Systems Make My Business Great?

What makes a business system great?

Many times we have heard businesses say that “it is important to get the right people” or “we are looking for the right system”. Regardless of the industry, these are common problems at some point in a business’ lifecycle, but what is ‘right’?

Having the right people is only the start of developing a great business. The key is to have these people in the correct positions and have their roles working effectively by implementing and using the systems and processes provided by the business. Management, as most people know it, has far less to do with people than you’ve been led to believe. Architects and Engineers (and most people) are almost impossible to manage. Managing is about managing a process — a way of working — a business system.


Chain of command

Your people need to know what the ‘chain of command’ is regardless of the structure you use. How decisions are made and communicated must be made clear to everyone inside the business. Not only will having a clear leadership structure assist the business with standardising processes, but it makes the lines of responsibility clear. Too many times we have heard people say “draw a line in the sand”. These lines eventually wash away, so ensure yours are slightly more permanent!

Having leaders in your business that can engage and drive improvement in the business is the starting point. Leaders need to actively embrace business systems — why they are important in the business, how the information is used in the business and what’s expected of the users etc. From this, selecting the right systems for a business becomes easier as these people will help drive the selection of key systems and identify processes that need improvement. The beginning of this process should be to start talking internally about what issues you have with your current processes and systems — what’s working, what’s not working, what’s missing, what other systems have your people used and would recommend etc. The next step involves documenting in a clear and concise manner these discussions. This then forms a basic requirements document for you to provide.


Having leaders in a business that can drive enhancement and improvement in the business is a must. From this, selecting the right systems for a business becomes easier.


Effective system implementation

The major pitfall most businesses get into is “but we want to do it our way”. This is the biggest mistake we see across any systems implementation. When going through an implementation ensure that your vendor has sufficient local knowledge in your market and a demonstrated history of effective implementation. Then allow your vendor to guide you through the implementation process and merge your current processes with the vendor’s experience.

A typical selection process will run through
four stages:

  1. Ask your vendors to match their system with your requirements brief
  2. Have 3 vendors present their systems, and then reduce this to 2 options
  3. Have both remaining vendors spend a minimum of 1–2 hours with teams inside your business to gain a greater understanding of how the product will fit your business
  4. Select a preferred vendor and present to the decision makers.


Your Business Systems are one of the key foundations of your business and it is only from having effective systems that you can control and build your business.


Selecting the right team

The next step is critical, and that is selecting the right team from within your business to take ownership of the implementation. This team should consist of your biggest critics and your biggest supporters. This team will work with your selected vendor to drive the implementation process and help manage change within your business. Then the journey really begins!

A key responsibility for every business owner is to systematise your business. It’s not something you can dwell on. Your Business Systems are one of the key foundations of your business and it is only from having effective systems that you can control and build your business. Your systems should run your business and people must follow your systems.

It’s only through having strong business systems in place that will allow you to take time away from your business, knowing that everything is under control, knowing that your team of great people that you trust are following the approved systems in your business and knowing that your team has everything in place to drive the success of the business.

Ready to take you take your business to the next level?

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