Now that we have our procedure the next step is how to track it. this is sometimes called a KPI or a key performance indicator. The only way to know if your procedure works is if it is measurable and time constrained. Meaning you know how much time it should take, and an objective is made. For example, a marketing process could include what happens after somebody clicks on your ad such as a follow-up call then how many of those clicks convert into a sell during a specific time frame such as a week.
Since we used baking a pie as our example in the last post, let’s continue with that idea. You will know if your pie was successful if:
- it tastes good
- your pie is not soggy
- The crust is flaky and not burnt
What other factors would you consider a successful process. Some things may seem like personal preference but as the owner of the business it is your our ppreference that prevails. If you switched the cinnamon to ginger and you absolutely love it, that needs to be part of your process, but others may add a slice of cheese instead.
How do you track something that is not immediately measurable such as if your training was successful? One way to know if training is successful is if they can train somebody else and it still comes out the way you would have done it.
Often, we get caught up in the “that’s how it has always been done” trap, stagnating your business and its growth. when I first started in accounting I was working for a firm in Denver. I was hired because I knew accounting software and how to teach it. They were working with everything being on paper and a file folders. The only thing the computer was used for was creating the tax return. Three years ago, I was asked to come back in to consult with this same firm and I reccomended they implement some new to them cloud-based technologies. It had been 20 years from when I last worked with them, I was very surprised when I walked in and their procedures were still exactly the same, including the files with paper. Despite asking me to review their processes the owner decided that none of my recommendations would be useful because he didn’t think his clients would like the change.
Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot working there and still use some of the procedures I learned there in my own business especially those around tax planning and projections. But change doesn’t mean giving up those procedures it just means adapting them to innovative technology. This became even more important when the pandemic hit, and everyone had to stay at home. Many companies were not prepared to move online and are now out of business. once a year review your procedures, is there recent technology that can make that procedure more efficient.
My challenge to you is to take one of your current or newly created procedures and make sure it is not outdated and it has a time constrained objective. Sometimes the best way to do this is to hand it to someone who does not work in that department and see if they can follow it to the intended result. If you would like we would be happy to test your procedures for you. Just click on this link to set up a time.