Business inefficiencies may seem to creep in over time, but they are actually ‘designed by default’.
That is, inefficiencies are created (but are not always apparent) by not designing work systems properly at the right points in time. Inefficiencies wouldn’t creep in if the right design was in place (and being followed – which is a result of having a good management work system).
There are a few situations where the right design needs to be done for work systems:
- IT System Implementation: Most IT Systems follow the 80/20 rule – where 80% of the volume is handled well, while 20% are ‘exceptions’. It’s the handling of these exceptions that requires good, thoughtful design to maintain efficiency and effectiveness.
- External Changes: To identify these promptly and accurately requires a good understanding of what factors are key drivers of performance in your work system.
- Changes in Performance: To identify these, good reporting and disciplined management practices are required – to identify issues, understand the causes, and then put the necessary changes in place to maintain performance of the work system.
- Internally-driven change: Often called “process improvement” or “continuous improvement” this is where the business decides to improve performance. Perhaps the business finally realised that performance was sub-standard. Obviously, good design at this point is a must-have.
Not doing the right design in these situations is condemning your business to inefficiency at some point in time, sooner or later.