Solutions Begin with a Process

Process

In the technology world, there is a process used for quickly completing a project. It’s called scrum. Scrum is an iterative process focused around constantly prioritizing tasks that allow teams to quickly change course while always working in the direction of an improved solution.

There’s an important lesson to be learned from this process: It’s better to start somewhere and rapidly iterate than it is to hold out for perfection.

In a CrossFit Affiliate, this concept can help owners and Coaches to run a successful business.

Imagine CrossFit X has just its opened doors. The owner sends out newsletters and responds to email from his personal account.

At this stage in the business, this works well because by interacting with everyone, the owner is able to create connections with his members. This builds friendships between the members and the owner, which is important to him.

Over time, the Affiliate grows, and this means more and more emails. It’s inevitable that some questions are missed in the overflowing inbox.

A few of the more “needy” members start to notice, but it’s not like the coaching quality is suffering due to slow email responses, so it’s not something that is prioritized.

Then an email for a new inquiry is missed. The process that got the Affiliate to this point needs to improve, as now there is a financial consequence. One of the hourly Coaches has wanted to get more involved in the community and offers to help out.

The additional help cuts email time in half. But, it simultaneously creates a new problem. This additional Coach’s communication is inconsistent, and sometimes incorrect, meaning the owner still has to follow up to correct the misinformation.

The owner decides to create standard responses (templates) so there’s no confusion about what information to share. The templates create clear, consistent emails, and they drastically reduce overall time spent on email follow up. Win, win.

In this example, the email processing for the gym evolves drastically. The owner recognizes that when starting small, spending time on standard template response emails would be overkill. So, he keeps it simple and as he sees an opportunity for change, he adapts to improve. He doesn’t stop to contemplate his end game, but rather trusts that the process of incremental change will propel him forward.

There are many other places this workflow can be applied in the gym. Take retail for example. At first, retail might be a cash only transaction with the owner. As things evolve, members might be responsible for marking down their orders so they can be charged through a software account. Eventually everything can be scanned to an account and automatically charged.

Developing specialty programs is another example. At first, successful structure and implementation for a specialty program is unclear. The owner presents a decision and tries it out. After running the program the owner assesses what worked and what didn’t. He uses that information and feedback to adapt the next round of the program to fit the needs of the community. This is a process of incremental change every time the program is run.

The lesson here is consistent throughout the examples. The process starts by putting a solution out there. Only then can an educated decision be made about how to improve upon that solution and move forward. That is a lesson worth implementing.

 

By Megan Welch, CF Dashboard sales manager. Contact her at 714.612.3380 or megan@cfdashboard.com.