Bad systems beat good people

Simplify your Systems
Have you ever had to complain to a business?

I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself saying, ‘I know it’s not your fault’ to the individual I’m speaking to, desperately trying not to take out my frustration on them because they, as an individual, are not responsible.

Often the person I’m speaking to is lovely, full of empathy and ready to see what they can do to resolve the problem. I often think how wasted this person is, working for a company focused on putting things right, when they’d clearly be excellent at doing the right thing for customers in the first place. 

What a shame that the talent of this individual is being focused on rectifying problems caused by poor systems and poor training, when it could be used to build proactive relationships with customers.

With effective systems, operated by people like this, resources could be channelled into growth rather than fire-fighting. Good for business, the Customer and the team.

Are your people working with ‘bad systems’?

Take the time to examine the systems that run your operation… ‘the way you do things’ currently.

• How straightforward is your customer journey.

• Is the route from A to B logical?

• Is it simple and easy for your customers, your team and youor have you added in complexity to be clever, or maybe just over time?

• Hows your communication system? Are you easy to contact, to give feedback to? Do you have a system for keeping in touch regularly with your customers?

• Do you have a documented process for every activity you repeat – even if its only once a year?

The only reason that systems exist is to make life easier – yours, your customers’,
your team’s. 

Do your systems make life easier?

Do one thing: Find out!  Because as our old friend Dr Deming says,  ‘A bad system will beat a good person every time’


[If you know that you need to improve your systems, but don’t know where to start, why not download our Busy Business Owner’s Guide to Developing Simple Systems, and use it as your guide.]

2 Responses to “Bad systems beat good people”

  1. Richard Losch

    I think that your point is well stated in our practice of Business Process Improvement we have found that significant gains in profit, quality and customer satisfaction can be achieved with the same people and equipment even the same process tools (software etc) by focusing on the process with a deep dive into process mapping identifying gaps and overlaps which present barriers to optimizing performance

    • Marianne

      Thanks Richard, appreciate your taking the time to comment. Great too for the people doing the work; so frustrating being in wacky races when you could be in formula1.


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