Every day, every action we take follows a meticulously crafted process.

From the moment we wake up in the morning, prepare for the day, and engage in our daily routines, processes guide our steps. Consider the intricate series of steps required for each task: neglecting any could result in a catastrophe or an uncomfortable situation (imagine showing up in pyjamas with unbrushed teeth to a board meeting or client presentation.)

Regrettably, we frequently encounter businesses that fail to document their processes or establish a measurable framework for their execution and monitoring. And when they do exist, processes are sometimes perceived as time-consuming obstacles to innovation.

However, in the business world, this should never be the case. We often hear tales of long-standing companies that manage to endure without standardised operating procedures (SOPs), some even achieving a degree of success. However, these accounts are usually accompanied by criticisms highlighting the company’s shortcomings, most notably the absence of documented processes.

At Impetus, we firmly believe in the power of SOPs.

In time, every business naturally develops processes, whether they are formally documented or not. Yet, these processes often seem to disappear or are not enforced or monitored.

To ensure a business’s long-term success beyond its founders and to foster growth, it must be structured and predictable. Its processes should become a life force, guiding, and sustaining its operations.

You may argue that excessive adherence to processes stifles creativity and artistic expression within a business.

However, we take the opposite view. This adherence to process is what enables creativity and innovation to thrive. In fact, virtually every innovative and creative business exhibits a strong commitment to process.

Given our understanding of the vital role processes play, why do they sometimes vanish from our businesses? Where do they go, and why does this happen?

Question #1: Why do processes disappear?

In essence, it is the nature of the world. Change is constant, and everything tends to degrade over time. Entropy, the natural force that drives order into disorder, is at play here.

The reasons for “why” are straightforward and understandable. People leave organisations. Companies change ownership. Managers come and go. Management trends ebb and flow. Institutional knowledge fades away. A crisis can temporarily disrupt operations, and the business never quite returns to normalcy.

Question #2: Why is this allowed to happen?

Bluntly, the answer is a lack of commitment to processes. In such environments, everyone is permitted to operate at will, and companies revolve around personalities rather than standardized processes.

Remarkable companies with well-established processes can unravel swiftly with the departure of a single individual who carried the torch for process commitment. In unique situations, there may be no one to take up the mantle of process adherence.

So, how do we ensure that our businesses become immune to these challenges? It all begins with the creation and prioritization of two essential processes. First, we establish the “North Star” for the business: wherever a standard operating procedure can be implemented, it shall be.

Secondly, as SOPs become the lifeblood of the organization, we make it easy and accessible for every individual who is responsible for the process to digitally gather and interpret the information. And should any gaps start to appear, it can be remediated immediately.

At Impetus, we offer a tool called OPUS4business, that is designed to facilitate the monitoring, management, and enhancement of a business’s standards and operations digitally, a digital operating platform.

OPUS4business is used to capture and track the information from the core of the business to the very end. Gathering information that is crucial in the decision-making process of the business.

With your business’ unwavering commitment to SOPs, OPUS4business as the digital operating platform and Impetus skills and knowledge, any challenge to the business can be met and overcome.