Creating a Recipe for Repeatable Success
Winging it can be fun – and somewhat liberating – at times, but adhering to prescribed processes is often the key to predictable results.
By Diana L. Mirakaj
As much as I love to cook, it took a long time for me to get used to the idea of using recipes. I always preferred experimenting with ingredients – trying out different flavors – until one time, I tried to recreate a dish that everyone had really enjoyed, and it turned out horribly. I forgot how to make it. I needed a recipe.
There’s a time and place to wing it, whether in the kitchen or in the office. But there’s also value in repeatable processes and practice. In fact, repeatability is perhaps the foundation for the creation and operation of a successful and stable business.
Formal processes are often documented, which makes them more easily repeatable. But even informal processes need this attribute. To measure a process for flexibility, you must be able to repeat it, detail for detail. Otherwise, there’s nothing consistent against which to measure and compare. To measure process improvement, repeatability is essential once again.
While some may believe they don’t have time to create repeatable processes, the reality is that companies can’t afford not to have processes that are repeatable. If time isn’t spent thinking through processes and documenting them, it’s frequently wasted recreating processes each time they’re carried out – often at a higher cost.
Here are some of the key steps in developing repeatable processes:
- Have a clear understanding of your organization’s goals and objectives (both short- and long-term).
- Document current business processes that will be updated or replaced.
- Assess significant process gaps and disparities.
- Ensure the development of processes that align with your organization’s overall strategy.
The key to effective operations and consistent achievement of goals is to develop, document, and implement repeatable and scalable processes. Strive to design and document each process so it can be managed or executed by all necessary team members. And then design the overall process to be open and agile enough to respond to the changing needs of the market and your clients. Process development requires time, effort, and collaboration, but companies with well-defined and documented repeatable processes have a higher success rate.
In addition, defining and documenting your processes makes your business more competitive: You’re better able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement; you can improve your product and service quality, and deliver more consistently to your customers, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty; and you’re more agile, so you can react quickly to changes in the competitive landscape. In short, by defining, documenting and adhering to your processes, you’re consistently doing the right things, at the right time, and you can more easily correct course if you go astray.
Formalization and standardization in any form can be intimidating, but that’s no reason to shy away from the challenge. The 2112 Group has found that solution providers with formal business plans, management processes, and governance have achieved higher annual revenue, profits, and rates of growth year over year. The implications are simple: Goal setting and planning have a direct correlation with better, sustained and predictable growth.
While there may not be one simple recipe for generating revenue, there are steps you can follow, to position yourself for growth – it all comes down to using the correct ingredients.