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The Streamlined Business Blog

Standardizing operations, compliance, and training.

The Streamlined Business Blog

Standardizing operations, compliance, and training.

 

Category:

All Systems Go!


How to Grow Your Business Without Spiraling Out of Control

Growth is a BIG topic for today’s business leaders in organizations of all sizes, industries. If you’re already on a fast trajectory or in expansion mode, you’ve probably experienced some of the operational challenges in scaling an organization. Here’s what your C-level peers are telling us: “We still operate off tribal knowledge. read more... about How to Grow Your Business Without Spiraling Out of Control

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

SOP Communication Is Going Mobile -- Are You Ready?

Almost every new client we talk to these days wants their employees to be able to view standard operating procedures and policies on any device. Unfortunately, most organizations already have pages and pages of documentation using a format that is suitable for 8.5 x 11 printed page, but not for online. read more... about SOP Communication Is Going Mobile -- Are You Ready?

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

How to Modernize Your Policy and Procedure Communication

Is your organization wasting time and money developing policies and procedures that no one uses? Organizations that integrate clear policy and procedure communication into everyday life realize improved quality, reduced training / turnover costs, and a more empowered workforce. ( Results l read more... about How to Modernize Your Policy and Procedure Communication

Friday, March 12, 2021

Standard Operating Procedures: Powerful Business Tool or Colossal Waste of Time?

In today’s economy, when you need to maximize every dollar, too many companies are overlooking the heavy toll operations problems (including training, regulatory non-compliance) take on the organization’s bottom line. Download this Article and learn how to avoid the “epic fa read more... about Standard Operating Procedures: Powerful Business Tool or Colossal Waste of Time?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Policy Procedures – 7 Signs You Have Outgrown MS Word

If your method for developing SOPs and policies is MS Word® or MS Excel® you may be unaware that there is a better way! Don’t get us wrong, MS Word is a fantastic tool for general purposes—just not for SOPs. If you only have a handful of procedures that rarely change, then the “do-it-yourself” in MS Word approach may be OK. read more... about Policy Procedures – 7 Signs You Have Outgrown MS Word

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Gang is All Here

Every once in a while I will get an email from a client that I haven’t heard from in a bit inquiring if I am still working with Zavanta. And I get what is really behind that question. Clients are wondering if they can just pick up where they left off or are they going to have to explain everything from the beginning. read more... about The Gang is All Here

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

CFPB Changes for the Mortgage Industry Driving Strong Interest in Zavanta

Interest in Zavanta Policy and Procedure Software continues to increase as more aspects of the CFPB’s (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) come online. Established in 2010, with a mandate to regulate and enforce consumer financial protection laws this year will bring changes for the mortgage industry starting in August 2015. read more... about CFPB Changes for the Mortgage Industry Driving Strong Interest in Zavanta

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Zavanta Software Principles Highlighted in New Book "Secrets of Success with Procedures"

In his new book Secrets of Success With Procedures , Jack Nicholas, Jr., BS, MBA, P.E., CMRP, CRL, internationally recognized expert in business operations and maintenance reliability and a decorated US Navy veteran and naval engineer, shares his experiences on the importance of written procedures to operations success. read more... about Zavanta Software Principles Highlighted in New Book "Secrets of Success with Procedures"

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Write, Share, Manage SOPs -- The Core Functions

For people new to Zavanta software , understanding a few key concepts is the first step to success. As part of our Getting Started Coaching and onboarding for new clients, I start at the very beginning. Zavanta is user-friendly software that helps you with SOPs. I helps with three core things. read more... about Write, Share, Manage SOPs -- The Core Functions

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Are the Wheels of Your Organization in Alignment?

Streamlining operations, improving organizational performance, and standardized procedures are 3 critical and interlocking components of success in every organization. But as we have talked about in many posts, the real key is getting good people and good systems to work together. If the wheels on your car are out of alignment, you are in for a bumpy ride and might even end up in a ditch. read more... about Are the Wheels of Your Organization in Alignment?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Are Your "Core Systems" and "Key Processes" a Joke?

We had to laugh out loud at the June 3rd “Dilbert” comic strip. As usual, Scott Adams put his finger on how often strategic management processes like “core systems”– that sound so good in the board room–can misfire and become punchlines around the water cooler. Are you actually encouraging your employees and colleagues to act randomly because no one in your organization knows the answer to Wally’s question either. read more... about Are Your "Core Systems" and "Key Processes" a Joke?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Avoiding "Brain Drain" When Star Performers Leave

In an previous post Do “Unwritten Rules” Undermine Your Business? , The Good Business Systems squad warned about the dangers of operating your business with “unwritten rules.” This question the St. Louis Small Business Monthly highlights more of the dangers. What happens when star performers leave and take their “unwritten” knowledge out the door with them? “My biggest all-star employee just left the company to work for a competitor. read more... about Avoiding "Brain Drain" When Star Performers Leave

Monday, March 22, 2021

Common Problems Leading to Outsourcing Failures (Part 2 of 3)

If you decide outsourcing makes sense as a time and cost-cutting measure, before you forge ahead, consider a couple of the most common causes of outsourcing failures and what you can do upfront to avoid them. Lack of upfront planning. Like all other areas of life, it’s difficult to succeed at outsourcing without a well-thought out, written plan. read more... about Common Problems Leading to Outsourcing Failures (Part 2 of 3)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Debunking the Myth: Good People Do Not Make Organizations Great

One of the biggest myths that confound many otherwise genius executives is the belief that “All we have to do is hire the very best people we can find and get out of their way. That’s what will make our organization excel.” WRONG! It’s not that simple. Good people clearly offer huge benefits to an organization, but the cold, hard reality is that bad systems trump great people every time, every day, all across the globe. read more... about Debunking the Myth: Good People Do Not Make Organizations Great

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Difficulty Managing Project Outsourcing? Systemize! (Part 1 of 3)

Organizations large and small are increasingly outsourcing projects and non-core functions to outside vendors. This has long been a common practice in IT and is now becoming more common in other industry sectors and departments such as sales, PR, web marketing, and customer service. Even using interns can be a form of outsourcing. read more... about Difficulty Managing Project Outsourcing? Systemize! (Part 1 of 3)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bad Flu Season Highlights Business Continuity Plans

Experts are becoming increasingly worried about the upcoming Flu Season. Banking and Financial Services will be impacted along with schools, government and the economy at large. What if half your workforce calls in sick? Check out this article from Bank Info Security, “ Pandemic Planning: Beyond ‘Checkbox’ Compliance . read more... about Bad Flu Season Highlights Business Continuity Plans

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Good Systems Help Employees Cope with Reduced Resources

We thought this was an interesting point from the article Maintaining Employee Engagement During Tough Economic Times: "With current cost-cutting, employees may find themselves with fewer resources and more work. Most of us will be required to do more with less. The 2008 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Job Satisfaction Survey Report indicates that communication during these difficult times is critical. read more... about Good Systems Help Employees Cope with Reduced Resources

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Got too much on your plate! – Create a Delegation System (Part 1)

Does it seem like you never get to the really strategic, important things in your business because you’re so busy? Are you stuck doing things you know you really shouldn’t be doing just because no one else can do them or you don’t have a way to delegate? If you find yourself repeatedly saying “I’ve got too much on my plate” you’re not alone. read more... about Got too much on your plate! – Create a Delegation System (Part 1)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Create a Delegation System (Part 2)

As they say, the first step towards solving a problem is recognizing you have a problem. Stuck in your routine you may be “blind” to what’s limiting you and solutions that might exist. With the New Year just ahead, its a perfect time for the following quick exercise to help you streamline business processes and make more time for yourself. read more... about Create a Delegation System (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Create a Delegation System (Part 3)

Even if you’ve only identified one thing you need to get off your plate, its time to get to work on it and figure out how you can either get rid of it or delegate it. Now, don’t get me wrong, there “may” be things you truly CANNOT delegate. You may think you don’t have enough resources. read more... about Create a Delegation System (Part 3)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

How do SOPs create Accountability?

Many have said that by just thinking about how their business “works” and defining the best way of doing things has gone a long way in transforming their organization from a “seat of the pants” culture to one of accountability. You have to put it in writing. Capturing and communicating standard read more... about How do SOPs create Accountability?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

How to Cope When You’re Overworked and Overwhelmed

It’s Friday and you don’t know where the week went with piles of “To Dos” left on the list. Ever feel like you’re working as fast as you can but not accomplishing what you meant to? You’re not alone—by along shot! In his classic bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , Stephen Covey identifies rule number 1 for coping when you’re overwhelmed. read more... about How to Cope When You’re Overworked and Overwhelmed

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

How to Make Your Organization "Bulletproof"

In a prescient article “Contingency Plan Key to Surviving Economic Downturns,” Jayme Broudy makes a compelling case about the importance of standardizing operations and streamlining business processes as a means to survive economic downturns. He talks about the importance of “investing” in long-ter read more... about How to Make Your Organization "Bulletproof"

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Improve your chances of outsourcing success: Create a system! (Part 3 of 3)

If you want your outsourced project to succeed start by defining the work first. Make sure you create a clear system that defines: the problem and specific outcome you want accountability (who does what, when) what the process is for getting the result you want how you are going to read more... about Improve your chances of outsourcing success: Create a system! (Part 3 of 3)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's Never the Employee. It's Your System

We ran across this very interesting post on a NY Times small business blog called It’s Never the Employee and thought we’d share. Here are some key points: “To those who complained that employees were coming to them with simple problems to be solved, had the employees been given training on options to solve those kinds of problems? No. read more... about It's Never the Employee. It's Your System

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's Past Time for a New Approach to Policies and Procedures

There is strong evidence that organizations are NOT getting the results they want from their policies and procedures. How do we know that the conventional methods aren’t working very well? In most organizations: Employees readily admit they don’t trust or read “the official P&P manual.” Operations run by “tribal knowledge. read more... about It's Past Time for a New Approach to Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Lighten the Load: Decluttering Your Business Systems

Part of clearing the decks for the New Year involves clearing desks—weeding out all the old files, old projects, and miscellaneous odds and ends that take up physical and mental space and block progress. Decluttering frees up space, energy, and restores focus so you can get more done. You probably declutter your workspace when it starts to drag down productivity. read more... about Lighten the Load: Decluttering Your Business Systems

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

One Size Fits All -- Yeah right!

Anybody been in the bargain aisle in the mall this month with the “Jingle Bells” Muzak assaulting your ears and run across the inevitable “One Size Fits All!” rack. Really? Who believes that? If it’s not an IPOD or a stack of cash, it’s NOT going to fit ALL. Chances are it won’t fit ANYONE on your list. read more... about One Size Fits All -- Yeah right!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Operations Wake Up Call! Help for Tough Times

Okay. You know it’s really bad out there when you hear “the best investor in the world,” Warren Buffet, proclaim the economy just fell off a cliff. Fortunately, in the next breath he went on to say that the tough times are temporary and America’s best days are still ahead. read more... about Operations Wake Up Call! Help for Tough Times

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's a Piece of Cake to Get Your Ducks in a Row

An Argument for Jargon Free Polices and Procedures Clarity is a mantra around here at COMPROSE, Inc. When it comes to SOPs the clearer you are in how you write, share and manage you information, the better the outcome. Sounds simple right? It is, but (there is always a but) simple doesn’t mean easy. read more... about It's a Piece of Cake to Get Your Ducks in a Row

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Process Re-engineering: Think Big, Start Smart

We’d all like to be able to wave a magic wand and instantly streamline operations to turn our businesses into lean, mean, efficient machines. Economic pressures and thin margins are causing business owners and managers to step back and re-examine their businesses: Are we operating in the most cost-effective, streamlined way? Why are we wasting time, spinning our wheels? With so many processes, people, and jobs, the idea of building a lean, efficient organization can be overwhelming. read more... about Process Re-engineering: Think Big, Start Smart

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Research Shows Streamlining Procedures Best Way to Reduce Operations Errors

What’s the most important factor in reducing task errors? Employee Skills? Training Methods? or the “System” itself (aka steps used to perform the task)? An interesting research study carried out by Michael Byrne of Rice University and Elizabeth Davis of the University of Texas overturns many common assumptions about employee training methods and performance improvement. read more... about Research Shows Streamlining Procedures Best Way to Reduce Operations Errors

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

SOPs for Process Improvement? Absolutely!

Recently an Executive coach we’ve been working with commented about how our Operations Mapping method – linking processes to detailed standard operating procedures, work instructions and policies — is a perfect fit for improving organizational performance, process improvement and re-engineering applications. read more... about SOPs for Process Improvement? Absolutely!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Standard Operating Procedures: Straight jacket or Lifeline?

You can divide most people into two categories when it comes to standard operating procedures: those who see them as a lifeline for effective operations and those who see them as a negative force, a straight jacket constraining creativity and innovation. How do you achieve the positive res read more... about Standard Operating Procedures: Straight jacket or Lifeline?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Standardizing operations by systemizing business processes (Systems Thinking)

There is a NEW way of managing operations and thinking about process that leads to better results. The concept of standardizing operations by writing policies and procedures and distributing a corporate training manual that’s been around since 1887 doesn’t cut it anymore. To really achi read more... about Standardizing operations by systemizing business processes (Systems Thinking)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Standardizing operations by systemizing business processes (Good Systems and Good People)

It’s critical to understand the connection between Good people and Good Systems. Good systems support good performance and drive good outcomes. Systems represent best practices which allow good people to excel. Systems provide consistency and predictability, eliminate waste and guesswork, and free people up to perform at their best. read more... about Standardizing operations by systemizing business processes (Good Systems and Good People)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Standardizing Operations Helps You Work Faster and Eliminate Waste

In today’s economy, no organization can afford to tolerate wasting effort, staff time, or money on inefficient operations for long. Surviving in tough times means making the best use of available resources and that means eliminating waste. That’s where examining your business systems comes into it. read more... about Standardizing Operations Helps You Work Faster and Eliminate Waste

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Standardizing Operations is "Good Business"

We’ve been blogging about steps organizations can take to survive and thrive in Tough Times this week. A previous post, How to Make Your Organization Bulletproof discusses how the secret to becoming bulletproof is to focus on efficiency, productivity, and contingency planning. Another goo read more... about Standardizing Operations is "Good Business"

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Systemization does not stifle innovation, it empowers it!

Picking up on a previous post, we find that many people find the idea of “systemization” scary until they understand how it can help them. Some believe systemization stifles creativity and innovation or say that certain functions or businesses cannot be systemized. Many fear the Hal scenario from 2001: A Space Odyssey where humans become slaves to an autocratic, unyielding mechanical system and lose their autonomy and creativity. read more... about Systemization does not stifle innovation, it empowers it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Systems Work! How standardizing operations in Sales paid off big

BusinessWeek’s SmallBiz magazine offered another example of how standardizing operations and streamlining business processes really works. As the CEO of Sales 2.0, puts it, “. . . sales need to be managed just like any other business function. . . . It’s not black magic and backslapping!” The case story describes how V12 Group ended their “scattershot approach” and put in a “formal process for each step in the sales cycle. read more... about Systems Work! How standardizing operations in Sales paid off big

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Thanksgiving Dinner for 30? No Problem When You've Got a Good System!

How seriously do we take streamlining systems at COMPROSE? You be the judge. Some of us were just discussing our Thanksgiving plans over lunch and we had to laugh. Seems like standardizing operations is a way of life around here and it doesn’t stop when we leave the building. One of our group commented that Thanksgiving has become her favorite holiday because it almost goes like clockwork: “everyone has a job, and everyone does their job. read more... about Thanksgiving Dinner for 30? No Problem When You've Got a Good System!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Importance of Execution: Why Don’t Companies "Get This"?

It’s the foundation of our business at COMPROSE from Operations Mapping to Zavanta software. We write about it. We preach it. We’re passionate about it. We help our clients do it. It’s the underlying theme in some of the most popular business books on the market today – executing your mission. read more... about The Importance of Execution: Why Don’t Companies "Get This"?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Secret to Implementing Change: Systemize your Business

Some of the common barriers to managing operational change include employee resistance, fear, lack of accountability, management “missing in action”… and the list goes on. At COMPROSE we’ve had a lot of experience working with organizations that are rolling out new products, implementing new technology or undergoing a major change like a merger or downsizing. read more... about The Secret to Implementing Change: Systemize your Business

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

There is a Place for Common Sense in Standardizing Operations

A recent article in Quality Digest:“ Thinking and Adapting in the Context of Standardized Work ” by Mark Graban raises a common myth we often hear: written standard operating procedures (SOPs) are too constraining and “robotic.” In his article Graban rebuts this myth pointing out that “Standardized work isn’t “mindless conformity. read more... about There is a Place for Common Sense in Standardizing Operations

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tips for Better Search Results in Your Policies and Procedures

Accessibility is one of the biggest barriers organization’s face when applying policies and procedures to streamline business processes. If your employees can’t locate AND understand the policy or procedure they need—when they need it—you might as well not bother writing policies and procedures in the first place! Documents sitting on a shelf or files on a hard-drive some where that no one can find are not doing anyone any good. read more... about Tips for Better Search Results in Your Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What Do the Best-run Companies Do About IT SOPs?

Tech Republic.com is a great resource for all subjects IT and technical trends. But there’s a lot there too that touches business management best practices. We found an interesting post in their IT Leadership blog that explains the value of IT SOPS for CIOs and IT management. In the post “ Mastering the Mundane with SOPs that fit ” author Padilla Ramon repeats a quote familiar to most of us: “The best run organizations are those which have mastered the mundane. read more... about What Do the Best-run Companies Do About IT SOPs?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What is a "Good" Business System?

A “good” business system encapsulates everything about how your organization “does business” and how you are better than your competition”—people, processes, tasks, workflows, steps. It’s your standardized operations plan. If you have a good system, anyone who follows it can get a good result every time! And if you find you aren’t getting the results you want, you can just adjust the system until you do. read more... about What is a "Good" Business System?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Video -- What Really Makes an SOP Good? Performance!

Did you know that if done right, a user-friendly Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) “system” is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to standardize work processes, control quality and keep employees trained and operating efficiently? (The research backs it up. See our previous post: The Best Method for Reducing Workplace Errors . read more... about Video -- What Really Makes an SOP Good? Performance!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What's the Next Action? Getting Things Done

If you haven’t read David Allen’s personal productivity bestsellers , Getting Things Done and Making it All Work , we highly recommend them! In both books, but most recently in Making It All Work , Allen stresses that the simple discipline of asking the question, “What is the next action?” is one of the most powerful and profound steps anyone can take to boost personal and team productivity and “get things done. read more... about What's the Next Action? Getting Things Done

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wow! Obama Appoints Nation's First Ever Chief Performance Officer

Wow. Standardizing operations and streamlining business processes are rarely the topics of major government press announcements, but today’s news briefing sure got the COMPROSE Good Business Systems Squad’s attention. Although we live and breathe standardizing operations, creating and managing good business systems, and improving operations performance, they rarely make front page news or the CNN Breaking News crawl. read more... about Wow! Obama Appoints Nation's First Ever Chief Performance Officer

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Embrace Complaints to Improve Your Business Systems

How well do you LISTEN to customers and employees when they complain that written instructions in your company procedure manuals and employee manuals are hard to understand or missing important steps? It’s human nature to get defensive when criticized. The knee jerk reaction to complaints is usually to stop listening and start explaining, excusing, or dismissing the criticism. read more... about Embrace Complaints to Improve Your Business Systems

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough . . . Think Forward?

A previous post, “Is Layoff the Layoffs Good Advice?” explored the downside of the knee-jerk reaction many businesses take to negative economic news and the long-term consequences of that approach. This thought from the article “Surviving economic downturn with talent” offers a similar spin on that topic from Ceridian, HR and Corporate Training experts from “across the Pond” in the UK. read more... about When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough . . . Think Forward?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021