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Now that you have your systems in place, it is time to implement a review program (and yes you should have a system for this to!). What I see frequently, is people investing a lot of time and money into systemising their business but then failing to keep the system updated. Don’t let your system be the one collecting dust on the bookshelf!
I suggest reviewing your systems annually. If you are a young company, then review them more often. Start with three monthly, then six monthly until you reach annually. The systems I use now compared to when ProjectBox was in its start-up period are completely different, and for the first six months some systems changed almost weekly until I found what worked best for us!
CREATE REVIEW PROGRAM
To create your review program, start with your full list of systems. Using this week’s freebie (see the end of this post), assign each system to a date and month within the year. You may choose to dedicate one whole week reviewing and updating your systems, you may choose to spend half a day reviewing a number of systems, or you may choose to review a chosen number of systems each week. Whatever your method, ensure you put the system name against a date and month. This will help to keep you accountable and make sure the task gets done. No excuses! Spreading the review program across the course of a year into bite sized chunks makes it more achievable and not so scary as each review date rolls around.
Choose who is going to be responsible for conducting the reviews. Are you going to delegate the task to one person within the organisation, or are you going to delegate the task across multiple departments and employees. Note down who will be responsible for each system review.
To keep everyone accountable, transfer this review program into your business calendar. If you have a shared calendar, utilise this. If not, dedicate one person to be responsible for the review program process. Have them send out task requests to the people responsible with start date and due dates. Ensure that they follow up to make sure the task is done. Once complete, have them send out a new request for the following year. See the following guides on creating and using Tasks.
Outlook 2007 (also works for Outlook 2016)
REVIEWING YOUR SYSTEMS
Follow the system. Does it still work? Are their improvements that can be made?
Ensure you seek feedback from those that use the system regularly (this should form part of your system for reviewing systems!). Does the system still work for them? Has anything changed? Is there a better way that we could be doing this process? Has technology changed? Take their feedback and use it to update the system accordingly.
When we talked about Filing our systems, I mentioned ProjectBox uses SystemHUB for documenting and filing our systems. Within SystemHUB there is a place for employees to provide feedback. This feature becomes incredibly powerful during the review process.
Lastly, ensure that you track review dates for each system. A way to do this would be to add the review date to the start of the system. Include the last review and when the next review is due. You may also have a spreadsheet that collates this data (again, another system!). If your business uses version control, ensure that you follow the instructions in relation to this.
If you have any questions about the review process, if you are confused about any of the terminology that we have used (shared calendar, what is that?!?! How do I create a Task in Outlook??) or if you are still lost in the whole idea of systemising your business, then please get in touch. I’d love to talk!
Don’t forget to enter your details below to receive the template to plan your systems review!