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Systems Thinking: How it can improve operational performance.

7 tips for how to use systems thinking to drive improvements in your operation.

Systems Thinking
Systems Thinking

Yes, Systems are everywhere. From the planetary system to our climate system to the human system. If you know the system and its interdependent parts, then you can analyse the impact of each component or part of the system on the whole to see how you can improve performance. At Envisago, we take a holistic, systems view of your operation, identifying 7 critical component parts of your operation that are necessary for success; From your 'Big Why' to the results you achieve. Below are 7 ways you can use a 'systems thinking' approach to drive improvements in your operation.

Tip #1 - Map the end to end customer journey

Just like it says on the tin, in order to understand any gaps or problems in the customer journey, you need to map out all the interactions with a prospect from when they first hear about your product or service to the point of renewal or churn. By understanding how each touchpoint interacts with the others, you can identify areas where improvements can be made to increase customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.

Tip #2 - Analyse Feedback Loops

In any company, many different feedback loops exist, from user feedback to product development to customer support. A systems thinking approach can help identify how these feedback loops interact with each other, and how changes in one area may affect the others. By analysing and optimising these feedback loops, you can improve product and service offerings.

"Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes, recognising patterns, and understanding interrelationships, rather than isolated parts." - Peter Senge, author of "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation".

Tip #3 - Identify Bottlenecks

Systems thinking can help identify bottlenecks in operations, whether in the product development process or in customer support. By identifying these bottlenecks, you can optimise your operations and improve overall efficiency.

Tip #4 - Optimise Resource Allocation

A systems thinking approach can help identify areas where resources are being underutilised or overutilised. For example, in a SaaS company, by identifying a particular feature that users frequently request, they can invest resources in developing that feature to increase user satisfaction and retention. By reallocating resources to areas that need them most, you can improve overall performance.

Tip #5 - Foster Collaboration

It's very common, even if undesirable for different departments and teams to work in silos. Systems thinking can help break down these silos and foster collaboration between teams, leading to improved communication, knowledge sharing, and better decision-making.

Tip #6 - Embrace Continuous Improvement

A systems thinking approach encourages you to continually monitor and evaluate your operations, looking for opportunities for improvement. By embracing continuous improvement, you can stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market conditions.

Tip #7 - Align goals and incentives

Systems thinking can help you align goals and incentives across different departments and teams. By ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objectives, you can improve overall performance and achieve strategic goals.

So how can you incorporate system thinking into your operations today?

If you want to find out more about the Envisago Holistic Methodology, you can download our '7 Steps to Operational Excellence PDF here. Feel free to leave a comment below!


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