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Learn more about maximizing the systems and processes in place at your religious organization with these tips.

Do you ever feel like you spend most of your day just putting out fires? You want to become more proactive, but it feels impossible. Often, facilities is just viewed as a cost-center, or a “necessary evil” of running a church. Sadly, your work will never be as effective as it could be until you have a calculated approach that considers the seemingly small day-to-day tasks that create a much bigger system designed to achieve an outcome that will have a positive effect on the church’s mission.

Merriam-Webster defines system as “an organized or established procedure,or harmonious arrangement or pattern.Webster defines “process” as “a series of actions, motions, or operations leading to some result. Simply put, processes are a sequence of actions that are part of a larger, over-arching set of practices which make up a system, designed to achieve specified outcomes.

When properly implemented, systems and processes help simplify your job and give purpose by having an end goal in mind. There are three parts to consider when developing systems and processes:

  1. To determine what the bigger picture, or “system” will look like, identify the labor and financial resources at your disposal, and the outcomes you want to accomplish;
  2. Establish the KPIs (key performance indicators) you will use to measure effectiveness; and
  3. Implement the processes that will drive this system to be successful. You’ll likely refine some of your processes over time.

Determining available resources and needed outcomes

Every organization should have systems and processes that work for them. The system can only be successful if the processes behind it are effective and executable. A 200-member church that utilizes volunteers and outside contractors will have different processes than a multi-site congregation with paid facilities staff at each campus. Regardless of size, the universal requirement is that your processes are repeatable and documented, so when a committee member’s term ends, facility manager leaves or retires, or an employee quits, the next person can pick up where they left off instead of reinventing the wheel.

Establish KPIs

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. KPIs need to be established so you can measure how you’re performing against your goals. Aside from identifying inefficiencies, and possibly the effect that limited resources are having on your operations, this will help avoid losing sight of the bigger picture. Examples of KPIs would be percentage of preventive maintenance vs. reactive work, work order response time and amount of deferred maintenance.

Implement and refine your processes

Develop processes that will support your system. These processes might be refined based on how well you’re scoring through your KPIs and the outcomes you're achieving through your system. You should always be looking for ways to improve your scoring on these KPIs.

You don’t have to go it alone. Talk to the church up the road from you or join a group that facilitates the sharing of industry best practices. few great resources are the National Association of Church Facility Managers and the National Association of Church Business Administrators.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) can help automate these processes and systems for you, and by doing so will streamline the tracking and measuring aspect (in fact it’s very difficult to do these well without one), but you’ll still need to invest the time to develop these processes or seek the help from an outside firm.

Learn more about how to simplify and improve your processes and systems by scheduling a demo of our CMMS for churches.

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