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We Have Always Done it This Way


The most dangerous phrase in the language:  We have always done it this way!
These words, attributed to Grace Hopper offer real insight into patterns that keep businesses stuck. Times change, businesses change, technology changes, and it is important to look at processes and make sure that they still make sense. This is not to say that you should fix things that aren’t broken, but rather that you should take a step back and review how things happen and be open to the possibility that there is room for improvement.

Things to consider:
  1. Technology has come a long way, there is probably a better, cheaper, faster solution to many older software packages for example.
  2. Compliance is an ever growing issue for a wide variety of businesses, ensuring your business creates SOPs taking this into account can save you some serious headaches down the road.
  3. Scaling a business isn’t just about bringing in more money (Although that helps!), it also requires changes in how things are performed. Be aware that what worked for your team of 20 might not for your team of 50 (or 1000).
The take away here is not to solve problems that you don’t have, but rather that you should consider the possibility that what once worked, no longer does. A streamlined business is one that is constantly assessing itself and ensuring its operations are under control. If you are doing something, it should be because it supports your business goals, and not simply because that’s they way it has always been done.
More posts on Operations Management topics.