Working on your business, not just in it, is the challenge for leaders in every organization, every industry, every size of company.

Clients are demanding, sales is always on – but to scale, you need the systems and processes in place to support efficient operations and delivery.  This is even tougher when you’re in growth mode and on a winning sales streak.

Ignore delivery processes and systems at your own peril. Eventually, weakness and inefficiencies will compound, leaving you with emaciated profit margins, grumbling customers and quality issues. 

There are 5 signs we frequently see in organizations that indicate systems and processes need work:

1. Over-Reliance on Senior Managers

Do you feel like you need to clone yourself or your core leadership team to get things done?  It’s a sentiment shared by many, but it’s not sustainable or conducive to growth.

A sign of a weak project management system is over reliance on a few key team members who are needed to run the company or handle projects.

2. “What’s the status of…”

When an organization is running like a well-oiled machine, the need for status updates decreases.  The team can see project status in real-time, view a dashboard with KPIs, and get alerts on risks and issues immediately.

Less time talking about status means more time executing on billable work and strategizing on how to take your organization to the next level.

3. Difficulty Pricing Projects

Time dampers enthusiasm for all opportunities, and quickly generating proposals – profitable proposals – is critical to sales success.

Is proposal generation a bottleneck?  Pricing a project should be something that many team members are well-versed in, and they should have benchmark/baseline data to help them put together an accurate quote.

[If this is an area where you struggle, check out how Project Pulse helps address this.]

4. Inconsistent Distribution of Workload

Is one team member burning the midnight oil while another takes a two-hour lunch?  Your systems and technology should provide transparency into the work that’s on each team members plate, alerting you when resources are underutilized or overburdened so you can plan ahead accordingly.

5. Accountability Hot Potato

“I thought you had that,” is a phrase that you can ban from your organization when you have the right systems and processes in place.  Assign tasks with one clear owner and a due date.  It sounds simple – and it can be – with the right tools to support it.

We often hear owners griping that their PMs or other managers aren’t owning projects and taking responsibility.  Sure, there are a few bad apples – but more often than not, what’s perceived as poor performance is a result of unclear roles and responsibilities or ineffective systems for assigning work.

Spend the time to get your technology and processes aligned for growth

If you’re on a mission to grow – and almost all businesses we partner with are – it’s worth taking the time to work on your business and develop the processes and tools needed for success.  Take a good hard look at your project management system, and ask yourself if it would support the business if you 3, 5, 10Xed it.

Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards, and constant status/resourcing meetings won’t cut it.  If you believe in your business, get the right technology in place to manage operations and services – your future self will thank you for it.