Four-Step Strategy for Building Systems
There is a system for everything in your life – and your business. From getting up in the morning to laying back down at night, systems are operating in one way or another. Some are excellent, others are only so-so, and others only limp along (at best.)
Many systems are detractors from construction contracting businesses because they haven’t been appropriately developed evaluating the preferred outcome, including how to get there.
The first strategical step in building systems in your construction business is focusing on the concept of systems. Developing and documenting your construction company’s operating systems gives you three essential business building tools.
The power of intentional growth
The strength of being organized
The functionality of built-in efficiency
Solve the problem
Whether you’re building a system from scratch, fixing a broken system, or enhancing a passable system, the second step of the strategy is understanding that a first-rate system solves a problem. One way to start the problem-solving system improvement process is to ask questions. Some of the questions you may wish to consider are:
What must be accomplished?
Where are the bottlenecks?
What keeps breaking down?
Why does what is being done not work?
What other systems work well and why?
Who is in charge?
Who best understands the process?
Why is the present system in place?
Create the step-by-step journey
Creating systems encompasses organizing behavior for everyone involved in each aspect of your construction contracting business. Who does what and when doesn’t depend on a whim, impulse, or vagary but instead on the systems and processes you have in place.
It would be nice if the systems fairy would drop by and automatically determine and document all your systems so you could magically be organized, systematized, and ready for action. But that doesn’t happen. It is better for you and all involved when you think about it. Building proper systems is best accomplished by those who use them.
Example: Solving a Common Problem
Determining what needs to be accomplished is often the beginning point of developing and documenting each system used in your construction business. Although you’ll probably have many more questions to answer than the above list, let’s use it to look at the problem of keeping the breakroom fresh and convenient for all users throughout the day.
What must be accomplished? Keep the breakroom neat, tidy, and clean.
Where are the bottlenecks? No one has been assigned any tasks, so no one does any charges, or a few people are left cleaning up the messes of others.
What keeps breaking down? The breakroom resembles the “self-cleaning” oven that is never really clean.
Why does what is being done not work? Some are disgruntled because they feel they are being taken advantage of, and others don’t care.
What other systems work well and why? The office supply area is always tidy and accessible to all who need it because the system designates the users and the tasks.
Who is in charge? No one is assigned to the task; all are asked to help with varying degrees of success.
Who best understands the process? (Pick a name.) Everyone likely knows who is best at getting the tasks done. That doesn’t mean that person should oversee the cleaning itself. But it could mean that a person develops a simple system for everyone to note and use.
Why is the present system in place? Someone (it could be more than one) places importance on having a clean breakroom.
You get the idea. Once you’ve answered the questions, you’re on the path to determining who should write the process and how to assign the tasks to each person who should be completing them.
And, as you likely know, this doesn’t mean the breakroom will always be clean, that everyone will pull their weight, or that things will go perfectly well from now on. But it is a start and a step toward meeting the goal, which leads to the final strategy.
When systems work, you hardly notice. But when there is a system failure, the game changes.
One example of a system failure might be found on the way to the next job site. When the traffic light that systematically allows one street of vehicles to travel while the cross-street traffic waits fails to function, near-chaos can ensue. Of course, there are varying methods to contain the madness, from self-guiding actions to police officers directing traffic to repairing the broken system. Notice that even in these methods, there are intervening systems in place.
There is often a need for backup, intervention, or a total revamp for a system or process to continuously work well. In other words, the mindset that must accompany the development and use of documented procedures is one of constant improvement.
Systems users, you and your employees, should always be on the lookout for ways both large and small to improve the systems in place. (Which means there must be a system documenting how and when changes can be made to any system.)
The Four-Step Strategy
Focus on the inherent good of developing, documenting, and using excellent systems.
Use systems to solve problems.
Create the step-by-step journey.
Constantly improve the systems used.
Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735