In business there are only 3 types of problems. Process, People and Systems. No more. Every problem fits into one of those three boxes. This is often referred to as the "Golden Triangle".
At Aeronet, we are always working with our clients to identify where the issues they are facing fit as that then gives the best way to fix the issue.
So what are these three types of problems and how can they be addressed.
Process problems are often the most neglected in businesses. This is due to be not being documented correctly (or at all) and when they aren't documented at all, being kept in one person's head. The basics of a process is what steps do you go through to get something done. It might be how to send out an invoice, how to send a part out or how to make the coffee. Regardless of who does them, or the systems that is being used, the process should be able to be followed and the task completed.
The best way to address process problems is to get the people involved with that process in a room and step through the process and document it really well. Once it is documented step by step you can then identify the steps that are missing and where the improvements need to be made.
A few things to note:
- This process should be separated from the system and the people doing it. Anyone, with any system, should be able to achieve the same result (although maybe less efficient than with the right person and best systems/technologies).
- Once a process is documented well, it should be very simply to change system or team member managing that process.
People problems are related to the specific person doing the role. Maybe they aren't able to complete the task due to not having the skills needed, maybe they're having a bad day or perhaps they are the wrong person for that role. Whatever the reason, people problems can often be the hardest to deal with as there are "feelings" and personalities involved. The key to dealing with people problems actually happens months and sometimes years before you need to deal with them. You need to have built great, professional relationships with your team and colleagues so that these situations can be discussed openly and in a professional way.
A few things to note:
- There will always be people that are resistant to taking feedback and making change. Get them involved in change early so that you are able to manage things with them along the way.
- A great source of information for managing people well is Manager Tools. https://www.manager-tools.com/
In our experience, this is where most of the blame in business problems is placed. "If only we can get that new tool, we'd be sorted." "This new version of software will change the way you do business." "Connecting up the flow of data between these 3 systems will solve all the issues we're currently happening".
Unfortunately we've seen too often that the result of implementing the new system, software or technology doesn't solve the problem at all. The system is only as good as the process or people behind it. A great, experienced builder can create something amazing with a 50 year old hammer, bent nails and recycled wood. However, give him the newest gas powered nail gun and fresh beautiful timber and he'll be able to be more efficient and create something as good as it can be.
Old, outdated and not performing systems can however make a business inefficient and not perform at its peak and that is where moving to the latest and greatest can provide massive benefit to the business and its employees.
A few things to note:
- There will always be people hesitant to system change ("It's working, why do we need to change?"). As above in people problems, involve these people in system changes early on. They can sometimes turn into your biggest advocates for technological changes.
- The evaluation phase of changing systems is absolutely critical. Can it actually do what you want it to do? If this phase is not done correctly, you may find yourself needing to change again in a very short space of time.
Why Aeronet cares about our clients people & process problems?
As a software company, surely Aeronet is just concerned with the system problems businesses have? No at all! We are concerned with the success of all aspects of the "Golden Triangle" as our software is only as good as the people and processes that are using it. We've seen time and time again people expecting Aeronet to solve all their business problems but then a break down in their people or processes inhibits their ability to actually implement Aeronet successfully.
We also see those businesses that have great people and amazing processes jump into using Aeronet and everything just hums.
At Aeronet we offer services where we can evaluate your business, help work through your processes and train your people so that you have all you need sorted so that your aviation business can be as successful as possible. Your success is Aeronet's success.