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Systemization Series: How to design a system

April 9, 2015 -  By

DP-blogThis is the final installment of Dan Pestretto’s seven-part systemization series. 

As a recap of this series, we’ve covered:

  • the concept of a business systemization plan;
  • an organization strategy of the four core functions of every business—sales, operations, administration and management;
  • process identification for each core function;
  • how to create an org chart; and
  • job descriptions or position agreements.

But the key ingredients in this recipe for business systemization are the systems—or, shall we say, the final piece of the puzzle.

The starting point for designing a business system is to define the exact result or goal you want the system to produce.

Now, review your prioritized systems list and choose one specific system.

Think about the end result. What is it that you want to achieve? Write it down. This is called the objective.

Consider how to achieve that result, and write the broad-stroke steps of the system that could be put in place to achieve it. I recommend using a box and arrow diagram to accomplish this step.

Review each of the steps in the flowchart and expand on them using as much detail as necessary.

Establish and document the expectations you have of someone in your organization following and completing this system. Look at your org chart to determine who will be responsible for making it happen.

To conclude, the four basics steps of building systems are:

  1. Specify the system name.
  2. Write the result or the objective.
  3. Diagram the steps in the system showing their sequence and how they relate to each other using a simple flowchart diagram.
  4. Write the tasks and expectations in each box on your flowchart.

In the end you have a process structured work plan, presented in a workflow chart.

Still, consider these additions to the system or process to aid your people with what they need to succeed in your business:

  • A checklist to track people through each step of the process.
  • Guidelines or instructions to accomplish each step of the process in a way that you or your highest performing employees do it.
  • Instant access to reference material (such as for diagnosing plant pathologies).
  • Tools for your salespeople such as proposal templates, pricing spreadsheets and a portfolio of your work.
  • Training videos, audio files of instructions in highly detailed or technical work.

These process and procedures need to be organized, easily accessible and current. Otherwise, what’s the sense?

Doing what you do consistently with systems will help you in the application of metrics to your business and make everyone in your organization better. Way better. Every time. Herein lies the answer to the question, “How can I grow my business?”

It all comes back to your brand—nothing influences sales more than your brand. And your brand promise can be instituted throughout every one of your core functions and procedures.

Bottom line: Business should add value to people’s lives. Systemization is the cure to the problems in your business, and I am here to help beyond this series.

By reading this article, you qualify for a free session whereby I’ll offer help with any business frustration you may be experiencing by tying it to a system or process in your business that you should be looking at more closely. Respond in the comments section or contact me at

Until then, happy systematizing.


This is posted in Blog

About the Author:

Dan Pestretto is an Amazon best-selling author, business leader and consultant working with designers, contractors and trade service providers, with his specialty being in horticultural trades. He helps business owners develop, fine-tune and implement their companies' systems and empowers them to increase annual revenues.

5 Comments on "Systemization Series: How to design a system"

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  1. I am interested in the whole article. Is there a way to get it? I have been wanting to develop an exit strategy and it is key that my business has a system in place to add value to my company. I paid a lot of money for a business advisor and feel ripped of as all he did was dump a million word documents on my lap for me sort out. Not an easy thing to do!

    Thank you,
    Bill Pfundheller

    • Bill, I know what you mean. Business advisers, consultants, gosh! They all seem to be acting in the manor as you describe. Where is the accountability for your success in that?

      I am working on compiling the articles I wrote here into an attractive package. A sort of eBook/workbook. It should be helpful to you to start to workout your systems.

      And I offer it to you and anyone who wants it, free. I am accountable to my clients for results. I have spent a life time doing this work in the landscape industry and I am very pleased at this point to be able to give back. I am also thrilled LM gave me the chance to offer this series to its readers.

      Send me your email address and I’ll get it to you as soon as it’s in its final form. Should be in about a week or so. Thanks for reading my articles. -Dan

      • Graham Oldreive says:

        Dan Pestretto
        If you could so kindly add me to the mailing list for your e-book Systemization Series: How to design a system.

  2. Graham says:

    Yes I too would be interested in being able to read the whole 7 parts