single point of failure

A very common theme emerges each time we speak to people at different events.

Usually followed by “We have single points of failure, we need that!”

Process Management and internal efficiency are very dry subjects, but both play a crucial part company’s success and also in the levels of customer service.  However, we see a lot of people initially don’t want to engage stating “we’re fine”.  We then start giving a few examples (repetition, duplication, single points of failure) and see heads start to nod and there is recognition of the same practices at their workplace.

When you think of efficiency, is it only in the context of whether your customer receives what they ordered?  “We delivered when we said we would, therefore we’re efficient”.

What about the journey to complete the order?  Are you at risk of delaying a customer order if someone took time off sick or went on annual leave?

single point of failure (SPOF) is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working.  SPOFs are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability or reliability, be it a business practice, software application, or other industrial system.

A couple of common scenarios are below:

  • critical data is on Excel spreadsheets that are emailed around the business for reference or updating
    • do you know who has the ‘master copy’ of the spreadsheet at any one time?
    • the person who is the next to update the spreadsheet has spent a lot of time making changes but forgot to email before going on leave for 2 weeks
    • the ‘final’ version from last month is on the PC of someone who has gone off on long term sick and the Board need the info tomorrow!
  • An approval request is emailed to a line manager to allow critical software to be renewed.
    • The manager misses the email and the requester forgets about it until the day of renewal.
    • The manager is off-site in an all day meeting and cannot be contacted.
    • Users have their access to the software revoked and are unable to work until renewal

While people recognise the issues prevalent in their companies, it is often difficult to change reactive behaviours.  Its difficult to realise that you are constantly firefighting, wasting time locating documents or fixing things that have been missed.

One solution can be to implement a management system such as Webcon BPS.  Process Management Systems can revolutionise the way you conduct your day to day tasks.  The mundane tasks that sometimes gets missed can be automated, compliance tracked and risk from single points of failure reduced!

Why not be a game changer within your business?  Get in touch for a free consultation to see what options are available for you.