Managers vs. SystemsAs a business grows, system complexity also grows, with many owners believing the solution to the complexity is, adding managers, managers, and more managers!

Business growth experts acknowledge that, when a business experiences growth, frustrations can increase exponentially.

So, is the answer, to hire more managers?

When a business doubles its employees, you would think its problems, frustrations and complexities would only double. Truth is, growing exponentially means, when a business doubles its employees or customers, problems may triple, or quadruple.

How to Keep the Wheels of Production and Service Turning

There are various methods business owners adopt when growth happens, to confront exponential business complexity, which results in errors and miscommunication.

One method eventually doomed for failure and burnout is to work longer hours.

Another method, is to simplify the product line and services. This method will work; however, before implementation it needs careful study. Before growth happens again, it’s important to find the ROOT CAUSE.  An owner must determine WHY exponential non-conformance got out of control in the first place.

Managers, Managers, and More Managers?

Yet another method utilized, especially in medium to large businesses, is to hire more and more managers. This multiple-managers method seems to be the preferred, go-to solution. The thinking is, to just have several people oversee the increase in non-conformance. This, however, does not root out the cause of the problem.

In our book, System Busters; How to Stop Them in Your Business, there’s a more detailed chapter titled, Managers, Managers, Managers. You might want to check that out!

The Final and Best Solution

The method usually tried LAST, is to implement well-written SOP’s (standard operating procedures) that will address those growing errors and miscommunications. This method will bring production and service under control via quality control and other business process systems.

THIS is the method we recommend and cling to—because it works!

With good systems, everyone in your organization is accountable. ALL share in the responsibility for keeping the wheels of production and service turning and improving.

You can reduce and nearly eliminate all errors and miscommunications to less than one percent.  I know this to be true, because we did it in a complex printing business!

The Goal: Reduce Errors and Miscommunications to Zero

We proved this method works, by measuring errors, miscommunications and all non-conformance, system-busting events. We also measured and captured, with data, the time and product wasted, and the monetary cost of that waste. Year after year, we reduced waste, because the errors and miscommunication were eliminated systematically. This was accomplished using standard operating procedures, one step at a time.

To be clear, we did not wait until we reached ten, then twenty-five employees, to start systematizing our business via written SOP’s. We started developing a comprehensive operations manual, both digital and hard copies, when we had only five employees.

Misconception Among Small Business Owners

Owners of small businesses, with five to ten employees is, “We’re too small for your method of organization via systemization.”

For those in the “I-think-I’m-too-small” group—systems, systems, systems that reduce errors and miscommunications are NOT just about YOU! They are for and about your employees, customers, vendors and, yes, your family.

Did I mention? Great systems work!