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What Hurts? Addressing Points of Pain with Policies and Procedures

Admittedly, Hemingway probably had something more poetic in mind than SOPs, but the advice still holds. Clients implement Zavanta software for a variety of reasons, chief among them are growing pains. Whether it is the confusion that seems to strike at around 50 employees, fast growth, or operations that are so borderline non-operational-it hurts. You can get through some of it by sheer force of will, but the sheer force of will isn’t scalable. You need something more strategic.
Regardless of the cause of the pain, the reality is that what did once work, doesn’t any longer. Sometimes it's very clear where the bottlenecks are, software that is dated for example. Other times, it's hard to figure out where the breakdown is or which one to address first. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the first step is to slow down and step back. Undoubtedly the climate is intense and people are feeling the pain.
  1. Assess the situation as objectively as possible. People put a lot of themselves into things and may take the idea of change very personally, being sensitive to this can save a lot of grief.
  2. Talk through your reality. Do the software that does fit anymore-can you replace it? Or create more streamlined interfaces with it? Or do all of your solutions involve using people differently? Understanding what your reality is can help you get your mind around the problems.
  3. Write it out. How will your new plans function? Clearly spell them out for your team. Make new roles clear, and illuminate the workflow.
  4. Test your ideas. Do you want to try adding a second shift or having your sales department handle your customer service issues? Great. Create SOPs to support and test your idea. Integrate what you have learned before rolling things out on a larger scale.