Truvle Newsletter Issue #7 Automation's ugly cousin

We are back. The podcast has a new name, the US stock market is rallying this morning after a week of record lows (as of 10 am EST), and the Truvle newsletter is back to helping you reduce waste in your business. All is right in the world. Now... standards.

At a glance...

  • Standards have a bad rep... why?

  • The path to automation, increased creativity, and reduced costs

  • Business Therapy Episode 11: Standardization: The First Step to Automating Your Business

Let’s dive in.


THE PROBLEM




The uninspiring art of standardization I know what you’re thinking. Why implement standards? You want your employees to be empowered to be creative, solve problems, and feel ownership of their work. Right? Standardization is thought to be the killer of creativity and innovation, but this is wrong. Standards could be the accelerant that your business needs to reach your lofty goals for Q4 and 2022. You’re thinking about standards all wrong First...What is a standard? A standard is a solution that creates structure for activity to be done the same way every time. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? In no way do standards hamstring creativity or limit innovation within your organization. But what I am doing now is fine, why standardize? Though all might seem fine in your standard-less business, the cost of variation is difficult to see directly, but always present. You are likely losing thousands of dollars to human error, unnecessary hours of work, and uncontrolled variation in your work processes.


An example: Instead of having a drawer dedicated to forks in your kitchen, you decide to store forks in cabinets and drawers scattered around your house. Every time you eat, you spend 10 minutes rifling through drawers and looking in between couch cushions. By the time you find your fork, your food is cold and you’re hangry. Sounds ridiculous right? Well, this same phenomenon is probably happening right now in your business. You’re probably not searching for forks, but you are searching for

  • Improved client conversion through consistent sales processes

  • Better data through reliable operating processes

  • Technology solutions leveraging a single, best practice process

Can you measure your operations? It is impossible to monitor or measure something if there is no standard process. Those KPIs, quarterly milestones, and other performance metrics (the ones you work hard to create with your management team) are completely useless without process standards. How can you measure the effectiveness of a process without knowing what the process is?


Truvle Challenge Actionable ways for you to put Truvle concepts into practice. This week, take note of the tasks that you do repeatedly or that a direct report does repeatedly. Is there a standard process that is followed to complete that activity? learn more about this on this week's episode of Business Therapy


THE SOLUTION


Standards are your solution... ...or at least your starting point to solving your problem. The value of standards for a business all boils down to one truth: you cannot change what you do not understand. Change is essential for growth and innovation within your business and organization. Uncontrolled and unnecessary change due to a lack of understanding can produce far more business waste than the current unstandardized process. Standards solve for uncontrolled variation Creativity is likely foundational to your organization and generally celebrated in business. Creativity and variation are often lumped together but the two are not the same. The difference lies in the types of variation: controlled and uncontrolled. Controlled Variation- variation that is intentional and planned; can be anticipated Example: Set number of different onboarding processes for specific types of new clients Uncontrolled Variation- variation that is ad-hoc and random Example: Ad-hoc, unique onboarding processes for each new client Uncontrolled variation cripples your business. How to create standards Unsurprisingly, you can’t just wave a wand and **poof** make standards appear. Like everything in business, there are steps and a process. 1) Understand your context – What is the process that you are attempting to standardize? Who is involved in the process? Who is affected (indirectly and directly)? 2) Understand your as-is process – How are your processes occurring now? Who is doing what? Where is there variation occurring? 3) Understand your to-be process – How would you like this process to occur? What are the improvements that you want to make? 4) Transition plan – Before implementing a standard, you need to understand how the effort will affect the organization. How much is implementing the standard going to cost? Any change to a process will require a project and result in cost. 5) Implement – Put your transition plan into action and implement your standard. 6) Monitor – Now that you understand what is going on in your process, measure and monitor key metrics that are tied to the performance of your new process. Now what? Once your processes are standardized, the power to create is in your hands. Removing ad-hoc, random, wasteful behavior creates room for you and your organization to allocate resources to creative projects, process improvements, automation and digitalization.


Truvle Challenge Actionable ways for you to put Truvle concepts into practice. Are you looking to add digitization or automation to your roadmap? Understand your business first. Do you have standards in place for the process that you are looking to automate? Do you really know how your business is operating? learn more about this on this week's episode of Business Therapy


THE EXIT TICKET the bottom line


  • If you don't have standards for your business processes, you're losing thousands of dollars. Plain and simple.

  • Standards enable creativity and reduce the amount of uncontrolled variation that is killing your business and employee productivity.

  • With standards in place, the sky is the limit. Understanding your business through standardizing is the first step in the process of digitization and automation.



THE PODCAST

New name same real conversations about real business issues. Business Therapy #11- Standardization: The First Step To Automating Your Business Standardization. Uninspiring? Maybe. A rocket fuel accelerant that will help your business blast through the Exosphere? Certainly, if done correctly. Standardization is often thought as a hindrance to creativity – something that hurts innovation. That’s not the case, and, when done correctly, standards are the solution to so many of your business’ problems. Now, how do you implement standardization? Is it less bland than it seems? Jon and Sam address the ‘uninspiring’ art of standardization. It’s often misunderstood. And it’s awfully effective at helping your business reach its biggest goals when done correctly… Take us with you on your morning commute or stroll to your home office: