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James Brooker
Strategic Business Manager, LoveAdmin

Do you ever think that what you’re doing is needlessly complicated? Has your organisation grown to a point where your current style of managing doesn’t seem to be keeping up? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – these are common issues organisations of all sizes face.

Remember, no one deliberately makes a process or operation complicated. Instead, it comes from a process that evolves or mutates into a complex task or process over a long time.

Luckily for you, we’ve sourced the most popular research on how to simplify your organisation. Plus, we’ve combined it with our own experiences in the industry to give you a simple, easy-to-use guide. The less complicated you make it, the more you can focus on what matters – delivering great value and experience to your customers. Keep reading for our step-by-step guide below to find out how.

 

Step one: Identify the problem

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to improve things for the sake of improving them. This won’t give you the long-term benefits you’re expecting and will more often than not result in failure. The most important thing to do first is to understand what problem it is that you’re looking to fix.

Ask yourself: Do you have an issue when all your subscriptions renew because you only charge people termly? Do you often have classes that have very low attendance compared to the rest? Be specific and self-critical as this will make sure you discover the real problem that needs to be addressed.

Step two: Dig down to the root cause

Now that you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to dig down to find out what’s causing the problem. This won’t be as simple as asking why once. You’ll get a reason, but it’ll likely be a superficial reason why the problem occurs. One of the founders of Toyota found that it was only on the 5th why that you got to the true root cause.

The below could be an example of how you would go about this:

Problem: My revenue is down by £50,000 compared to my target

  • Why #1: I only have 50% of my class spaces full
  • Why #2: The new classes I’ve added to my timetable are only 15% full
  • Why #3: There hasn’t been enough promotion or marketing to fill these spaces
  • Why #4: All available time has been spent on dealing with termly billing admin and making sure renewals are completed
  • Why #5: The process for renewing recurring payments termly is not efficient and takes too much time

As you can see, we started with an issue with revenue generation. We can trace it right the way back to an internal process issue that on the surface wouldn’t appear to be linked. This step is vital in making sure you fix the right thing so that it doesn’t appear again.

Step three: How do you want to fix it?

We’ve now identified the complexity that’s causing a problem. Plus, we’ve dug down into why the problem exists in the first place. It’s now time to decide how we want to go about fixing it.

The question to ask throughout this stage is; what impact is this change going to have? Remember what we said about improvement for improvements sake. We want to make sure that any changes we make a difference and solve the issue.

To continue with our previous example; we’ve found that we have an overly complex administrative process for managing termly recurring payments. The impact we want is to significantly reduce the time spent doing admin so we can focus on growing our organisation. As there’s no real way of improving that process due to the manual nature of termly billing, we’re going to move all our members to a monthly recurring payment which can be fully automated through direct debit and will remove 90% of the admin time needed on this task.

By getting to the root cause, we’ve now been able to plan quite a radical change for the organisation as we’re confident we’re targeting the right area for improvement, and that the solution we’re trying to put in is going to have a real impact.

Step four: Making it stick

Now it’s time to make it count. We’ve done all the theoretical work; we’ve now got to make the real change that’s going to last. The most important element here is communication. For change to stick, you need your team and customers to all be aware of and take part in the change. You must be consistent and assertive in making sure that any new processes are followed, and that any new expectations are clear for all.

Going back to our admin issue, implementing new billing terms for all customers will rely heavily on communicating this change to your customers. Making sure they know well ahead of time what to expect is crucial to ensure the change sticks. Your team needs to be armed with all the information so that they can fend off questions when they’re on the front line, and so that new customers are registered correctly.

Once you’ve got through that initial set up period where the change is adjusted to, you’ve made it!

You’ve successfully implemented a change to simplify your processes and in turn, make your organisation more effective. The challenge now is to sustain it into the future which relies on consistency and continued effort.

Still feel like you need some more help?

Would you like more personalised commercial advice and business partnering to unlock the potential in your organisation? Reach out to James Brooker, Strategic Business Manager at LoveAdmin, who can support you and your business. Book a call now here.

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