When many people hear the word “structure” in a business sense, they immediately think about the organizational structure or the org chart. That’s an important element of structure, but it is not the only one by far.
In the Operations hierarchy, Structure is any framework that allows you to measure the outcomes of your efforts or that helps protect you by planning for the unforeseen.
Structure is focused on performance, protection, and compliance. Elements of Structure for your business may include:
- Financial reports
- Protective agreements (MSAs, NDAs, customer and vendor contracts)
- Business continuity plans
- Disaster recovery plans
- Compliance with governmental rules and regulations
Why Structure is Vital
Certain aspects of Structure are readily identifiable. People are inherently that employees need to know who they report to or who has the authority to make decisions that affect customers and the business.
Going further, most business owners and executives know they need to measure how their business is doing.
Are you succeeding or heading for troubled waters?
Financial reports are necessary to understand the fiscal health of your business. Look for trends in your financials to ensure a problem isn’t slowly overtaking you.
Likewise, your team needs and wants to know if they are winning. Having good Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or published team goals allows everyone to know if they are on track.
Other aspects of Structure aren’t as obvious but just as important. Planning ahead for a negative event isn’t fun but it cannot be avoided. You don’t want to figure out what to do when you lose a big customer, your building burns, or the economy tanks after it happens. If you wait until disaster strikes, you may be operating out of fear and emotion. Having a clear plan of action determined in advance makes navigating tough events easier.
Other elements of Structure include being compliant with rules and regulations, having strong contracts, and having good documentation so you can have the best possible outcome if a legal issue arises.
Structure connects your Process to your Strategy by gauging your company’s performance and protecting your investment.