Your business’ mission statement and overall vision may be crystal clear, your company objectives and ideals detailed to the letter. Still, there’s always the possibility of something unprecedented happening, upending even the most structured of methods.
Unanticipated circumstances, one-off events, aberration, confusion – however you call them, once they strike, especially when you’re not ready with a contingency plan, they can strike with such notoriety that can leave you gritting your teeth in despair and your business process in complete disarray.
For example, if your business is in manufacturing, naturally, your business plan includes manufacturing goods for your clients and delivering them on schedule. Sometimes, however, instances such as having to move from one facility to another, the sudden loss of a finance or logistics officer, a new marketing strategy – these can all contribute to “chaos” in your working environment.
And when you’re on a deadline, workflow chaos is the last thing you want to meet along the way.
So how exactly can you prevent unwanted events from turning your execution model upside down?
Here are three things to keep in mind:
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1. Employ best practices.
Implementing the right strategies is not enough, especially in situations that are beyond a business owner’s control. Employing best practices starts with a clear understanding that such circumstances happen even to the best in the business. That said, innovative companies regard these unwanted events as opportunities to experiment, challenge conventional wisdom if the need calls for it, and ultimately devise fixes and workarounds that will result in acceptable, if not better-than-expected, turnarounds.
Say, for instance, a manufacturing plant needs to be moved to another location because of a calamity that beset the vicinity. For some, this may just be a simple move. But this simple move would entail a series of events involving other areas of the business such as IT, finance, HR, and so on. Having a workflow tool that provides visibility into a company’s best practices allows you to replicate those processes, saving you from losses you are likely to incur from a major workflow interruption.
2. Track and report.
Some businesses think they’re too small to even bother about keeping track of tasks, budgets, projects and requests real-time. They, unfortunately, have this mentality that e-mail or instant messaging for urgent stuff should get their attention just fine. Worse, they practically have no idea where their projects stand in the overall scheme of things, what their people are doing or if their actual figures jive with their projected numbers.
No matter how small you think your business is, getting your people onto a system that manages tasks, such as an HR operations software, provides next-step duties, streamlines documentation and allows for last-minute changes without disrupting your overall workflow process can spell a whole world of difference.
3. Prioritize and delegate.
If you’re the head honcho of a business, it pays to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. This means a lot is expected of you – not just to keep the company afloat, but to win more business deals and recognition as well. And being tied up in countless meetings and other corporate stuff just so you have an overall sense of what’s happening in the company is definitely a no-no.
One way to remedy this is by bringing in a system that puts your routine work into a structured process that distributes tasks to the right people on time. This not just clears your calendar, it allows you to delegate as well, giving you more time to think, strategize and bring your business to the next level.