Work the System: Using Standard Procedures to Increase Profits

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I gave this presentation on April 20th, 2013 in Berlin at the Dynamite Circle Conference. The topic was how standard operating procedures can help boost overall productivity and the takeaways from implementing this at my company. The basic take aways are as follows:

- One of the things I heard from attendees was "Cam that's great but you have 20+ employees. I am a solopreneur". If you have no employees you certainly must have contractors, VAs, a great aunt or someone that helps you fulltime or parttime. Written procedures are critical to ensure that these folks are productive.

- If it is something that you repeat, the following must be done:
Document the process
Automate it OR Delegate it

- The two most important tasks of an entrepreneur are to “create” and “connect”. There is no place or time for repetitive tasks.

- Employees need to be given appropriate time to let this concept sink in. They are going to look at is as something to add to their already overloaded todo list.
Creating these procedures can seem daunting (How do you eat an elephant?)

- Have your team read Work the System

- Don’t tell them how you are going to implement the system. Get input on how it should be done. Understand internal skills/needs/constraints.

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Work the System: Using Standard Procedures to Increase Profits

  1. 1. EXUMADOCSWork the System @WorkCAM COLLINS@CAMCOLLINS
  2. 2. If it is a process that you repeat the followingmust be done:Document the processAutomate OR DelegateTwo most important tasks of an entrepreneurare to “create” and “connect”. There is no placeor time for repetitive tasks.
  3. 3. •Strategic Objective -- this is like ourDeclaration of Independence. It is our mandatefor a better future. It gives direction andprevents flailing.•Core Principles -- this is our Constitution. Itcontains a set of guidelines for future decisionmaking. Its a more verbose set of our originalcore values.•Working Procedures -- these areessentially the rules of the game (our Laws).Working procedures for each department.
  4. 4. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGYWordpress - must be available on the internetbut users must authenticateDocument Management plug-in toSupport a workflowVersion documents
  5. 5. ExumaDocs page (not logged in)
  6. 6. ExumaDocs page (logged in)
  7. 7. CORE Docs page
  8. 8. StrategicObjective
  9. 9. SOPsasPosts
  10. 10. SOPforBilling
  11. 11. Plugin stack
  12. 12. Only works in thebackend. No front endsupport. Had to create achild theme ofTwentyTwelve and customizeheader.php, page.php, etc.
  13. 13. WP Document Revisions
  14. 14. WP Document Revisions - workflow states
  15. 15. WP Document Revisions - Doc edit
  16. 16. • Employees need to be given appropriate time to let this conceptsink in• They are going to look at is as something to add to their alreadyoverloaded todo list• The task on the outset seems daunting (How do you eat anelephant?)• Have your team read the book!!• Don’t tell them how you are going to implement the system• Get input• Understand internal skills/needs/restrictions• We weren’t leveraging our customer documentation resourcesand processesLESSONS LEARNED
  17. 17. • Workflow “ain’t all that”• Adding SOPs as Wordpress posts didn’t jive with my team• Windows/Word/Exchange centric• WP only used by me and one other person..so...• Using WP was going to suck the wrong resource into theadministration of the site• What did work came through employee inputLESSONS LEARNED
  18. 18. WHAT WORKED

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