This week I read a great reflective blog post by Ron Jeffries on legacy code and the temptation to re-write rather than improve the code as you go. I immediately drew comparisons on the need for continuous improvements within a business and the important decisions that are needed.
Much like programming, every business process or decision can be mapped out into logical chunks that together forms and represents your business.
It is the time and resources required by small to medium business to undertake the exercise that makes it prohibitive or slow for many. It is easy to fall into the trap that everyone is busy working in the business rather than allocating dedicated time to work on the business.
If your business was established in the last few years, you may be in the phase that everything is great, you are working hard and business is building. Make sure you factor in the sustainability of your business by taking the approach that you need to review your processes regularly.
Alternatively, if your business is more mature and sustainable, the challenges you may face is making sure your processes are kept relevant, modern and you are actively rolling out improvements.
The speed that business and technology is moving means you can no longer be reactive. Being reactive now means your business can fall years behind your peers and/or competitors.
One basic example of this was contained in the Netwealth 2017 AdviceTech Report on the number of Advisers who currently use email, newsletter and marketing automation tech with clients. 71% currently use it, an additional 22% intend on using it in 18 months, taking it up to 93% of the reports participants by 2019.
Of the 71% who currently use it, what do you think they’ll be doing in the next 18 months?
A portion of these may be fast adopters introducing new technology, further enhancements and processes to their businesses. The larger portion may not be moving as fast but they will be moving in the right direction.
You must adopt the framework of continuous improvement and one that allows your business to be agile and introduce new practices as needed.
The easiest way to get the framework in place is to involve your team. Build a plan and then work collectively on it together. Break down your business into manageable chunks. Document what you do, how you do it and why you do it. Identify pain points for your team and clients and source a solution. Repeat for each part of your business and then repeat all over again. A logical process and program for improvement.
Don’t allow your wonderful business processes that work today and have worked well for years become technical debt in your business. In this case the difference between what your peers are doing out there, what your clients are wanting/needing, and what you are still doing. The gap will get exponentially larger and your business may struggle to remain relevant.
Originally published on www.andrewbrooks.net on 6th August 2017