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How to Fuel Business Improvement with Key Success Factors and Categories of Improvement (Part 3)

Learn more about how to turn plans and decisions into actions that lead to success.

Read the 1st part here

Read the 2nd part here

Let’s proceed to the final segment of my series of articles dedicated to building a successful development strategy for business growth.

Decisions: What You Will Do Next

A decision is what needs to be made next. The decision is made based on deep analysis and a vision of where you’re going. There can be ten solutions to one question but only eight actions because not every decision needs to be or can be implemented immediately. To make a correct decision, a deep analysis of the SCCTI needs to be made. 

By reviewing the SCCTI for a particular KPI, you get transparency into the goods and the bads of a specific service or process. Your next task is to analyze and discuss. The point of a discussion is to come to a decision. That decision is then transformed into an agreement(s). Decide what needs to be done, when it’ll be done, and who’ll do it. This is called grounding your decisions.

Why is an agreement on deadlines so important? To make sure things get done. As I’ve already mentioned, decisions are crucial to moving a project forward. Discussing is pointless if no decisions are made. When decisions aren’t made, no agreements are made. When no agreements are made, no processes can get started and as a result, no product or business value.

Brainstorming is analysis, and your analysis should always be based on the SCCTI. Memorize this simple algorithm and follow it to get consistent results. First, decide what you’ll improve. Next, determine who is the owner of that category. After that, implement and analyze what has been done in the last seven days. Finally, come to a decision – this is an absolutely necessary stage in the management system.

Brainstorming is essential for discussing and generating creative ideas. Each participant writes down all ideas, any, even the craziest ones. Once everyone’s given their input, the analysis begins: let’s do it like this, like this, or like this. Having thoroughly considered the ideas and decisions, decide which one(s) you’ll implement. Let’s say out of ten ideas you decide to implement six immediately. The next step is to assign responsibilities, select performers, and set deadlines. As a result, you get to a solid agreement.

An important note to consider is there are four mandatory elements in a solid agreement: what exactly must be done, who will do it, when it will be done, and all of the above must be fixed in writing. Then and only then is it a solid agreement. The solid arrangement is held by the controller (without this element nothing else will work). Subject to in-depth analysis, the implemented SCCTI system, business intelligence, and other elements increased sales and profits are attainable. To perform more actions and hit more bullseyes at all levels, a clear management system is needed (SCCTI to brainstorming to agreements to control).

So, an agreement is a contract between at least two parties. A solid agreement is a document in writing (on paper or digitally) with deadlines to the hour. If the agreement is solid, then it’s five times more likely that it’ll be fulfilled properly and on time. 

It’s impossible to do business without a proper, solid agreement. To break one is frowned upon and in some cases, reason for a lawsuit.

The most important element in this algorithm is the controller. This could be best illustrated with an example.

Let’s imagine you have a meeting with your team and you’re in the middle of a brainstorm session. Finally, you’ve come to a decision. Don’t stop! Make it a solid agreement: identify what, when, and who will do it. And to save time and energy during the meeting, delegate writing all the agreements down to your assistant or a controller who’ll send solid agreements to the identified executives and get their written confirmation on terms and conditions. Before the next meeting with the team, these agreements should be fulfilled and the controller will check them and report back to you.

Solid agreements combined with a controller will surely bring stability to your company since you implement discipline based on key principles of responsibility and respect. While trying to achieve business goals, there’s no room for employee creativity or procrastination.

For example, what’s the biggest strength at McDonald’s in relation to its operation? Stability. There’s a 99% success rate every time you visit a McDonald’s. Why? Because business processes drive the business, not the “creative” impulses employees might make about basic responsibilities and tasks. Streamlined business processes drive success. However, to create streamlined business processes, I say it again, discuss, analyze, decide, and create a solid agreement. From there, make sure that each participant in the process understands the agreement, the processes that keep the project moving forward, and who controls those processes. 

Actions

All solid agreements and decisions are divided into actions. Actions are what we do to get the desired result. Each action must be subordinated to an improvement category or you run the risk of taking many actions and improving nothing.

All of the above points: what needs to be improved, who will improve it (the owner of the category of improvements), the goals, what’s been done, the analysis, decisions, and agreements are related to project sight, while actions taken are shots made toward success (the bullseye). The main task of management is to aim accurately, while team members execute.

Clients pay us for what we do for them, so our main actions should be ones that deliver the most business value to those clients. 

Decisions are referred to as sight because no execution has been made yet, simply discussion and analysis. For example, at meetings, if I want to know about plans, then I ask about plans, but usually, I’m more interested in what’s been done. And even more important, what’s been done and how much of that has the client seen. Everything is a part of the decision process until the client sees it. Once the client sees something, it’s an action. Clients don’t pay for our meetings, our corporate culture, or our ideology. They pay for what they receive, see, feel, and can touch. These are actions that move the business forward. 

Actions that don’t hit their mark on the client practically or emotionally need to be reevaluated for more impact the next time around. Advertising and Marketing are seductions and there are many ways to seduce an audience – and at the same time turn that audience off. To deliver results that a client appreciates, the product or actions should be well presented. 

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Control

Control is what keeps business processes smooth and streamlined. If a step or process isn’t controlled systematically, there’s a high chance that it won’t be done or will be done in a non-efficient way. 

The controller is the team member who informs the team lead of what’s not being executed. It’s important that the team lead is up to date on all “bad” things happening within the process so that they can get things running how they are supposed to be. Typically, the controller doesn’t change anything, doesn’t advise, but simply monitors the implementation of agreements and, if they see violations, they report it.

Thanks to this position, you’ll see everything that’s NOT being done properly.

How many controllers should a company have on staff? Start with one. And then gradually increase the quantity as needed, so that it doesn’t turn into absurdity, as in the Soviet Union, when there were 3 KGB officers per person. In no case, should a controller be a manager; after they’ve seen a problem, they need to make it known. To help the controller work more organized, they should have a list of agreements they are responsible for. 

For example, you have a chain of stores and they all have to open at 8:50 AM, a controller will check that they all opened at 8:50 AM. Music should not be played according to desire but by how it’s spelled out in the agreements. Your staff can be 25-year olds, and your shoppers can be a wide variety of ages and have different tastes in music. A controller will monitor this. However, all checks should be selective to prevent wasted energy and slowed-down processes. When there are too many checkers and not enough doers, no work gets done. 

A controller is a police officer who makes sure that the rules aren’t violated. But first, the rules must be spelled out, which the controller monitors – violated or not violated. If violated, they do not report it to the one who violated it. An alarm is sounded letting everyone know something incorrect is taking place. With that said, there shouldn’t be any emotion connected with the process, a good controller should look at all situations according to their agreements and report accordingly. 

A controller is one of the best investments your business can make because they keep an eye out for bottlenecks and irregularities. 

The main functions of a manager are to look at information, analyze it, make decisions, negotiate with subordinates, and monitor the implementation of agreements. Business can be divided into two functions: decide what to do and do it. To decide what to do, you need information, analysis, and for this to be done, you need agreements and control. Control is one of the four most important elements of management. However, it’s important to remember that as the business owner, CEO, etc., you don’t have to be in charge of control yourself. As the leader, you should be focusing on analysis, decisions, and agreements – it takes time, you need to talk to people, teach, explain, motivate, write agreements, and repeat. Avoid delegating your primary responsibilities because you should be the best in your specialty as a business owner, especially in analysis. If you delegate the analysis, you have no idea where your company or department is heading even if you have the best MBA analysts on your team managing the process.

Should employees be aware of the controller’s existence? Of course, everyone should be aware. We’re aware that the police are on the streets, and if we exceed the speed limit, they’ll notice. The very knowledge that there’s a police presence makes 90% of people follow the rules, like the speed limit. Therefore, everyone should know that they’re being controlled, there’s nothing wrong with that. The controller should be someone who keeps to themselves and has a strong ability to separate friendships and work relationships from tasks at hand – otherwise, the controller will struggle with daily operations because of the negative emotions others might feel about the tasks the controller controls. 

Follow this algorithm to strengthen internal processes and align management to achieve goals, adhering to agreements, and hitting goals.

To learn more about how to develop a development and improvement strategy for your company, contact an expert using the form below or email at info@computools.com

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