5 Steps to Creating an Effective Operating System


By Katie Torres

So, you've detected the obstacles that your business needs to remove.

But, how do you decide which problems to focus on first? The obstacles appear to be overwhelming, and picking a starting point might seem to be no easy task.

But with the proper operating system in place, you can make your way through the problems to find the solutions you need. 

This is how we do it at Envoy:

1. We work from a list of what’s working, what’s broken, and what’s missing or confusing, to help us decide which problem areas to focus on.

Our team meets together and comes up with a list for each of these key areas.

Once we have everything written down, each team member picks their top ten problems, and orders them from the most important problem down to the least important. 

From those top ten problems, we discuss each member's top five in the group. We then vote from there to pick just three problems to focus on. We call these problems “ROCKS”.

2. Once we have our three “ROCKS”, we assign responsibility to the problems to make sure they are addressed.

We discuss the problems. We offer our members a chance to volunteer and take ownership for each problem.

When it comes to assigning responsibility, it helps to keep in mind that the individual assigned to work on the problem should have a role that is in line with their goal. So, if the problem lies within sales, someone from your sales team would do well to take on the task.

3. Once responsibility is assigned, we create a deadline.

This helps to ensure progress and it creates accountability.

Creating accountability can also be done by setting clear expectations and clear consequences.

4. Each team member is given a KRA. 

Each team member has a KRA, or a Key Results Area. This includes who they report to, how much they make, their job description, and their rocks area. The member’s job description is what determines their salary. Bonuses are given when they effectively achieve their ROCKS related goals.

5. We meet together to follow up.

After KRA’s are determined, there is a weekly update meeting.

In this meeting, we discuss what each team member has completed and what each is committed to accomplish within the next week.

Team members then put their ideas into action, and solutions are achieved.