Financial Data
Updated 27 Sep 2020

4 Reasons your new systems are failing

You’ve implement systems, but for some reason they’re just not doing what you’d hoped they would do. Find out where there’s a spanner in the works and how you can prevent it from happening in the future. 

Nicole Crampton, 16 September 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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So your business is growing, and you did what any other CEO would do, you implemented systems. For a system is be a success, however, you need to include input from people the system will impact, don’t expect it to work straight out of the box, and consider all the hidden costs. Otherwise your shiny new system could cause friction and frustration among your team and with other already tried-and-tested systems. 

Related: 8 Free resources for setting up business processes and systems


“A common challenge in a growing business is how frustrating and challenging internal system user interfaces are. This will cost your company in productivity, training and even customer service,” says Paul Boag, author of The User Experience Revolution and leader in digital strategy.

Here are a few mistakes you may have made when introducing systems into your business, which is causing your system to fail:

1. You took the isolationists approach

You didn’t consider anyone else’s input, feedback or recommendation when creating and implementing the system. “I wasted time overextending instead of delegating, time that could have been spent finding the right people and the right systems for the job. If I’d made the effort to involve others in my plans for improvement, there would have been more ideas on how to streamline our current work model, and these advances could have been adopted faster,” says James Jessop is the founder of Creative Excavating.

Yes, you’re CEO, but that doesn’t mean you have to take on everything, find the right person for the job and let them run with it. Since their work will be impacted by the new process, they’ll most likely come up with a better system using their expertise.

2. One size doesn’t fit all

 “One size rarely fits all. Organisations rarely work in the same way, even within the same sector. Even if a law firm purchases an intranet designed for the legal sector, the system won’t necessarily work well out of the box for that firm,” says Boag.

Your people also work in different ways, which means for some the software works and for others it makes it harder to get their work done. Tailor the systems your department’s needs, to do this you’ll need to optimise and configure the software.

3. Your systems don’t operate in a vacuum

Isolated -business -systems

Did you consider the other systems your new process would come into contact with? Systems and processes are like cogs, but they can only work if they are working in harmony. If you didn’t take into account the other systems your new process must work alongside they could both quickly grind to a halt.

To ensure that your operation is fully functional you need to ensure you’re not looking at it in a vacuum but as a one holistic system and process. “It’s important to think about how your new plan is going to extend outward to other practices that are already in place. While your primary system might be improved, what if that’s at the cost of breaking another procedure that already works just fine?,” says Jessop.

Related: What systems need to be implemented in business?

4. You didn’t consider the hidden costs

Consider when you introduce a system, you hire people as support and you send your team for training, and then it doesn’t really work for your business. “Even more significant is the cost in lost productivity. Organisations are keen to maximise efficiency, and systems that are easy to use go a long way towards this,” explains Boag.

Internal systems impact how productive your employees are, which also effects how they perform for customers. This could give you your next competitive edge, but if done incorrectly it could cost you your advantage.


  • Delegate or collaborate with senior staff that know how the system will impact staff.
  • You will have to optimise and adjust the software to suit your business, it won’t work straight out of the box.
  • Coordinate with the other systems that exist in your business or risk one system causing the other to fail.
  • When starting down this road, keep in mind how much it will cost your company in time and profits if the system doesn’t work out.
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Nicole Crampton

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