Why Do Systems Fail?

Systems run businesses. But like anything else, they require constant maintenance since there’s no such thing as a perfect system.

Date
4 May 2021
Author
Liz Case Liz Case
Reading time
Around 3 min

Systems fail all the time. It’s not a comforting thought, but it’s the truth. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t fix, optimise, or change them.

Have a look at the following problems that are common among small or new businesses and learn how to handle systems, processes, and operations better. 

Failure to Learn from Mistakes

One of the best ways to create more resilient systems is to learn from past mistakes. 

It’s essential to look at past performances to see what worked and what didn’t. That should allow you to see any recent changes or failure to adjust that may have caused an internal system to fail. 

Not Using Modern Solutions

Companies are relying more and more on tech. However, some business owners and executives are still not emphasising the use of industry-specific software as much as they should.

Sometimes, systems fail because people patch them up with traditional fixes alone. 

For example, delayed payments and cash flow problems have strong ties to invoicing and payment processing systems. And not using good invoicing software and digital payment platforms can be a big mistake in today’s environment.

Not Changing the Culture

While systems and processes may run businesses, it is often people who run the systems. Unfortunately, some people become complacent. 

A culture of complacency can cause systems to fail. 

People get accustomed to configuring a system, automating it, and never looking back. But everything needs the occasional adjustment over time.

Preventing systems from failing is sometimes as easy as changing the company culture. Instead of allowing people to become complacent, try to lead by example. 

Push a progressive agenda that values constant improvement and monitoring of vital business systems. Doing so should give people extra motivation to make the systems resilient and resistant to failure.

Too Many Complications

Successful businesses don’t have complicated systems. They emphasise simplicity to remove steps that don’t add value.

Simplicity equals clarity. 

Working with simple systems can increase employee productivity and lower the risk of something terrible happening.

Not Having Expert Help

It’s no secret that it isn’t easy to find good help. Since people run and manage the systems, it makes sense that inexperienced employees could cause a system to break down.

One solution is to pay more attention to who you hire. Make sure they’re truly qualified to handle the tasks assigned to them.

Another solution is to bring in outside help. Either hire an expert consultant to fix your systems or outsource some of the company’s systems to a third-party provider.

It’s not a requirement to do everything in-house, especially when your team lacks the expertise.

Never Stop Paying Attention

Prevention is the best way to prevent failing systems. Instead of worrying about how you could fix something when it breaks, try continually working on ensuring it won’t happen.

With regard to that, a company culture that’s centred on consistent progress and innovation is less likely to run into bumps that break down systems.

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