Avoid This Major Mistake When Systemising Your Business – Pick ONE Single Source of Truth

Today I want to speak to you about a question, or rather, a scenario that a client raised with me the other day. You’ll find that it is especially relevant to the way you systemise your business

The Scenario

Our client is in the business of hiring out heavy machinery. The business process in question is the tracking of the repairs of the machinery via Asana (as task management tool). Now they are running a workshop and unfortunately, some members of the workshop couldn’t see the internal tracking of the repairs that is tracked by the office staff using Asana. They suggested to use a whiteboard to track the repairs to allow for a more visual way in the workshop of seeing the progress of repairs. The owner ran this past by me to check if I think it’s a good idea. And my simple answer is a NO. Why?

While having the whiteboard will allow everyone to see the updates, this will require another person to manually update the whiteboard whenever Asana is updated. In the proposed scenario, there will be two existing ways to track repairs and if someone forgets to update either systems, the system breaks.  This brings up the problem of figuring out which is your single source of truth? What is the primary source of information to update?

The Problem

As soon as you place two systems to handle the same information this will start requiring extra steps to update both systems and also require extra cost to your business. If the whiteboard solution was implemented, these issues would arise and the typical solution would be to require another staff member to update both systems to ensure they are absolutely the same.

So to break it down, creating two systems like this will result to the following:

  • Duplication of work
  • Internal communication issues
  • Inefficiencies or mistakes
  • An increase in human error

Creating and ensuring that you have a single source of truth is a really important principle when thinking about your business systemisation plans.  It will ensure you don’t create bigger issues in your business.

The Solution

So what was the solution in this scenario?  We set-up Asana to use custom fields to track status of the jobs. We also gave the members of the workshop access to Asana so could see and update repairs jobs. If you really wanted the same visual display on the workshop wall, you could also go and do an extra step of installing a TV on the wall to display the Asana tasks.  This would ensure everybody could see the updates in real time while still only maintaining a single source of truth.

Think about this principle when systemising your business and you’ll definitely avoid creating more unnecessary work through duplication, and you’ll remove a source of human error in the process.

We’re here to help systemize, automate and grow your business.  If you find this tip helpful you may want to check out our other videos, or drop us a message if you have any quick questions about technology, cloud solutions, or systems.