As the nature of industry has shifted in recent years to accommodate more agile businesses such as small manufacturing job shops, creative agencies, and freelance workers, the idea of having a business management system has started to disappear.
The millennial generation (and now, generation Z) make up a predominant percentage of employees in the workforce. This generational change has also had an impact on the “old” methods of business and project management. These employees want flexible hours, creative license, a looser job description, and increased responsibility.
And so, business operations are changing. There are pros and cons to that, of course.
The millennial and generation Z mindset has the potential to bring great innovations to the business world, however, rather than adapting the older styles of business management to fit this changing work environment, younger organizations seem to be abandoning any sense of process design and are no longer utilizing Business Management Systems. They prefer to simply “wing it” or “leave space for creativity” rather than commit time to process engineering.
Some organizations do recognize the establishment of written processes as valuable, but they shrug the issue off saying that they just don’t have the time.
This issue is not isolated to young, millennial-driven organizations either – local governments are often at fault as well. As an ‘industry’ they never really adopted business management systems to begin with. When faced with the concept of a GMS (government management system), they often nod their heads in agreement. While they understand the benefits of such a system, they respond with “we need to do this, we just don’t have the time right now.”
So, our government continues to rely on institutional knowledge which may or may not be based on law, efficiency, or effectiveness. (Hint: Often not.)
We get it.
In the moment, it’s sometimes just easier to do it yourself.
Writing down procedures and work instructions is time-consuming – and you are overloaded as it is!
For that matter, what’s the point? You might only do the process once.
But here’s the thing.
You’re too busy not to take the time to build processes. Even one person managing a single project needs a system – all the more so if you work with a team of any size.
So what is a Business Management System?
This could be an entire article itself. Or perhaps an entire workshop? (Hint hint…)
But just to touch a few elements:
- Documentation Systems
- Documented Procedures & Work Instructions
- Documented Roles & Responsibilities
- Task & Project Management Solution
- Continuous Improvement Method
The fact is, your organization has a culture, which is to say you have a business management system. The question is whether you’re going to take an intentional step toward managing what that culture becomes. I encourage you to take an active role in shaping it into what you want, rather than continuing to wing it or just basing current practice on yesterday’s practice because it’s “what we have always done”.
What are the Advantages of a Business Management System?
There are many, but let’s start with some of the big ones:
- Simplified operations
- Known, consistent outputs
- Records for customers, future employees, institutional memory
- Reduced risk
- Time Management
- Lower cost
- Higher quality
Clearly established processes are especially critical for organizations that are either spread out or use a lot of contractors/part-time employees. Otherwise, it takes way too long to teach every person the established culture of your organization.
The Hard Part
It’s hard to motivate people to actually implement and stick with a management system, particularly for small companies or old institutions like government – hats off to anyone that attempts it!
Make no mistake. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work upfront to get procedures in place and people acclimated to the new culture. Whenever a company changes its culture, at first, it’s hard to discipline and hold others accountable, and your “to-do” list may seem to get longer rather than shorter.
But take it from someone who has started half a dozen organizations and has employed hundreds:
It’s well worth it.