Who to blame when things fall apart in your Business

Hi, I’m Paul from FieldInsight and this is my #TuesdayTalk.

Where does fault lie in your business?

  • Someone hasn’t done something
  • You missed out on a big sale, on a quote, got declined or it never got sent
  • Things never get followed up
  • A Project didn’t get finished

Someone has to be to blame surely……

The answer is it could lie in various places, but normally what we do is we review the situation and we go to the person we think responsibility sits with and we say, “Why didn’t you get this done? What’s going on?”

That’s a natural place to start….find the person and confront them (sometimes not in a respectful way — you are reacting and running hot on emotion/frustration or even anger).

Some Hard Truths

If you step back and you look at the whole system, even probably before you need to talk to the person, it’s very, very likely that the fault lies with the process or a lack of process or a lack of execution of a process, and typically that lies with yourself as the person responsible for something which didn’t get done.

TOUGH WORDS TO ABSORB I know…but you have to be honest with yourself!

Even if someone is responsible for execution/delivery — YOU are responsible for them. So you really do have to point to yourself as the first port of call to assess where the responsibility lies.

How do you fix it?

Part 1 — Understand your Problem

The first part is to understand the problem well — remember we spoke a while back about using the five why’s technique.

A quick summary: It’s a technique used by Toyota to great success to get to the root cause analysis of a problem.

You then build up a system around managing that:

  • which may be a meeting once a fortnight to address that item.
  • It may be a regular process someone needs to execute at 2:00 PM every Tuesday to follow up on quotes or follow up on customers.

You give them the framework around that to execute consistently.

Part 2 — Regular burst of activity and checkpoints

Knowing the problem well is only half the battle because an implemented process rarely gets executed just because you said so. Actually it never gets executed.

The way you make a process get executed is you have a regular two-week ‘sprint’ meeting to ensure that you plan your activities in two-week blocks and have a check-in.

I have also recently spoken on these rhythms in your business being critical to bring structure and value to the tasks being performed.

Why 2 weeks?

Two-weeks is a really good amount of time to get traction on something. You get to have a half way check-point in 1 week; it’s the ideal time frame to try and execute a bunch of activities or to ensure processes are executed.

How to Start

Start with a two-week planning session, you look back to see how you went, then you look forward.

It takes time to get in to the rhythm of it so baby steps first.

What is in it for me and my Business?

The biggest benefit comes from doing those two-week sprints consistently. You can measure success, it’s a quick enough period to change direction and improve something so within 90 days you’re in a much, much better position.

Business is not like a sprint (sometimes it feel like you are living in the fast lane constantly) but Business is a marathon.

It’s a marathon of building up processes.

A process once implemented is successful if you don’t have to touch it again!

You set it up, it gets executed and you have a regular follow up process to make sure it remains effective.


  1. You have an issue
  2. You do the five why’s, work out what’s going on
  3. Then you do your two-week sprint
  4. Constantly look to evolve and get better

Stop, look back, work out what you did and what you didn’t do in the last two-weeks, list all of the processes you’re going to execute, when you’re going to execute them, who’s responsible, when it’s going to happen.

Write that down on a whiteboard, in two-weeks it is probably 10, 20, 30 activities to be done, with a name, and their status; In progress, not started, completed.

Do a checkpoint halfway through so everyone gets an opportunity to complete something if they’ve left something incomplete, they know they’ve got an obligation they’ve committed to something.

It gives them a reminder to lift their head up a little bit and not drop the ball.

Time to look up for a minute and plan out their week better

Key, key, key steps:

  1. Work out what you’re going to do,
  2. Prioritize it,
  3. Do the high value activities,
  4. Block it in the calendar.

If you dont block it in the calendar, it will not get doneyou need to protect your time.

Protect the asset which is you and your time.

Protect that time and in small two-week increments. You will find these issues which keep coming up and feel like staff issues are really just process issues and your staff are ace. Awesome in Fact.

Take Action

Find ways to integrate these tips in to your and the team rhythms and see changes in how your business runs. The team get used to a rhythm and they get to see changes happening more consistently that raises motiviation.

We want to help HVAC, Duct Installation, Mechanical Services, Plumbing and Refrigeration and Commercial HVAC install and service teams succeed, this is more than just the tools or software they use. Its People and Process.

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Originally published at www.fieldinsight.com.

FieldInsight is job management software for HVAC companies. We help business perform better in their job operations.