Part of living in reality is accepting all its shortcomings and inefficiencies. All the inputs you may work hard to put into a system – materials, technology, talent, management, etc. – will not work at maximum efficiency or ever be balanced.
When your systems become more complex, there is going to be more leakage and failure points. And a good system designer will account for the cost that comes from trying to make a workflow or system work.
That cost plus comes from the dependencies and statistical fluctuations which are a natural part of life.
People get sick. A vendor doesn’t deliver goods you need on time. A strategy missed the mark. You get a software virus.
Every working day has these types of statistical fluctuations and it has an impact on how your business and workflow will operate.
It’s why accounting for the costs that are natural from everyday work as well as Old Man Murphy is so important to consider. You have to have margin that’s based on the inevitable inefficiencies which will impact your results.
I think it makes operational efficiency somewhat of an art as well. You don’t know what will impact your well-intended and well-laid plans. You can only know that there are places in your workflow that will take a hit, sometimes sporadically, and other times regularly.
When it comes to getting business results, the cost side of your systems are real and if your expectations can have a buffer to what is ideal, you can rely on a lot of flex in your outputs. This is especially true with people-dependent processes and systems.
I like to think about contingency planning along with continuous improvement in known areas that will require support at untimely intervals. This not only keeps you from being blindsided, but you manage the risk from an imperfect world we all have to tolerate.
Consider where your costs will arise and how it impacts your overall results, whether that is in selling, demand generation or operational workflow. Mitigating that cost can go a long way towards allowing for continuity and sanity.