Do Your Systems Serve You…or do you serve your systems?
That statement is an important distinction and sometimes can get confusing. As project managers, we create systems to help our teams move faster and accomplish more. Systems are designed to help us towards our goals and objectives.
But, we can sometimes get things turned upside down. The systems take over and begin to slow us down and hinder us rather than helping us.
- The accounting system makes sure that our suppliers get paid, our paychecks are produced on time, and our leaders receive the information they need to make better decisions. But when we find ourselves spending $20 of overhead to process a $2 transaction, the organization is not well served.
- The calendar system makes sure that our schedules are aligned, our commitments are followed through, and our important deliverables are ready on time. But when we spend an hour a day managing our calendar, it is no longer helping streamline our day.
- The database system is designed to hold tons of data and keep good records for us. It keeps lists of people, events, and groups that we need to run our organization. But when we spend more time managing that information than producing the events, we are not effective in our jobs.
All of these systems are vital to the organization. We can’t (won’t) be getting rid of them. But, let’s keep an eye on ways to make them more effective so that they serve us rather than having us serve them.
(Caution – this isn’t a post about making life easier on you. This is about making the organization run more smoothly. Your day-to-day job might include MORE systems work for the overall improvement of the rest of your team!)
Thanks for listening.