Effective operational execution is a function of three key elements, namely a system, people and process. These essential elements are the building blocks for every business as well as every function within a company. It doesn't matter whether you work in supply chain, finance, human resources or procurement, these three elements holds the key to greater execution.
Greater execution means better performance and a happier boss, but in order to achieve this the system, people and processes need to be aligned and work in harmony.
Implementing a new system on the premise that it will solve all the company's problems is a mistake that is often made in companies today. Implementing a new business intelligence application will not solve the company's problems if people and processes are not aligned with the system. A system can't function on its own. It needs people to use it actively on a daily basis and it needs process to control how, what, when and why it is used.
A system will allow people to control the flow of information within the company. Without a system the data will be random and to make informed business decisions will be difficult. In order to harness the data the company generates a system must be in place. The system can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or a basic accounting system or as advanced as SAP or other applications. The system is an essential part of every day business, but without people and process, the system will fail.
People are needed to inform the system, but the influx of data cannot be unstructured and uncontrolled. If people are left to decide for themselves how, when and if they should use the system, they generally tend not to embrace the system. People are comfortable with how they do things. Change, especially a new system normally creates discomfort and resistance to change is evident in almost every company.
Process enforces compliance. People will tend not to embrace the implementation of a new system. In order to achieve the desired results from the system, a defined process must be enforced. If the process lacks details and specifics and is open for interpretation is will also fail. Be very specific when implementing a new process. Define exactly what the user must be doing on a daily basis, how they should be doing it, when the task must be complete and also give them the necessary context of why it is important.
Sooner than later people will get accustomed to the new process and system and they will deliver the results.
In conclusion, if the system, people and process is aligned, the benefits will far exceed the cost of the implementation, but if they are not aligned it is likely to fail.
- Because, the process defines how the system should be used the data is consistent, accurate and on-time.
- The data is ready to be used for further analysis, leading to more insight.
- Improved insight will lead to better decisions in the future.
- People will be happier and more productive, because they will know exactly what the expectations are for the system and what they must deliver on a daily basis.
- A successful project implementation with a system working as intended.
The system, people and process is not all the business requires to succeed, but it is three of the fundamental building blocks for success.