It is no secret that the business book market is a “red ocean” of competition where it is almost impossible to create a differentiated product. So, when I come across a business book that I know will make a huge impact to organizations, I always try to share what I have learned from the book with others.
David Jenyns book SYSTEMology is one of those books!
For business veterans, SYSTEMology will be a wake up call for what we should have done or still need to do within our business.
For those new to business leadership, SYSTEMology is a great resource that provides the background and the tools necessary to systematize your business. This systematization will decrease workloads while increasing quality, repeatability, and profitability.
Four Levels of Systematization
Jenyns defines four levels of business systematization as:
- Survival – In this stage of a business, the owner is in an endless loop of chasing work, getting the work, doing the work, invoicing, and collecting for the work. At best, this creates a business that is up and down with lumpy performance results. The business rises and falls on the success of one person.
- Stationary – Here the business has some good people who follow processes but the processes are “trapped” in their heads and not documented. Basically, the level of business success is now dependent on the level of success of the individual team members.
- Scalable – Now your business systems are documented but your tools are clunky. It requires constant reminders to the team to follow the process and use the tools. The key to move to the next level is to shift your employees thinking from; “we have to follow this process” to “this is how we do things here.”
- Saleable – This is the goal for any business whether it is for sale or not.
- Operating at this level is the most effective from all perspectives.
- Your business at this level is a collection of interdependent systems that you can tune to deliver extraordinary outcomes.
- Essentially, your business is run by systems and the systems are run by people.
The Seven Stages of SYSTEMology
Jenyns goes on to define the seven stages of SYSTEMology shown below:
- Define – Reduce your overwhelm by identifying the most critical systems. Remember, 20% of the systems will provide 80% of your efficiency wins. Define the critical client flow using the CCF tool provided.
- Assign – Have your best staff members document the critical client flow using the department, responsibilities, and team chart tool provided.
- Extract – Now that you have selected your top 20% of critical systems and the best staff to document the systems, it is time to get going! Use two person teams; one to share knowledge and the other to document the process.
- Organize – Once you have the systems defined clearly, you need to organize them into a useable tool that is accessible by the whole organization. This tool will vary depending on your business. It is important to remember that software isn’t a silver bullet (no matter what software companies tell you!).
- Integrate – Building systems for your business does not provide an advantage unless your staff buy into them. This requires culture change and is arguably the toughest stage for many organizations.
- Scale – Now that you have your systems, a tool in place to organize and manage them, and you have cultural alignment around the systems run business, it is time to extract and organize the systems that will allow you to scale your business
- Optimize – Build a dashboard that lets you monitor all aspects of your business performance. Once this is in place, you can begin to tweak and optimize systems and continuously improve overall business performance.
A healthy and dynamic business is run by systems and the systems are run by people. If your business is not running on systems that your people are continuously improving then you have some work to do!
It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you can learn something from this book and implement positive change in your business.
Dive into this book and take action today to move your business to a Level 4 business!
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