Pill Case









According to Collins Dictionary: “A system is a way of working, organizing, or doing something which follows a fixed plan or set of rules. “

Wikipedia comes a little closer to the full complexity of ‘systems’ with: “A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning.”

A system can be as complex as the eco system of our planet, as technical as business intelligence software, or as simple as a plastic pill case that lets you know which tablets you’ve taken each day.

When I look at finding the ‘right’ system, there are three important factors to consider.

  1. Does it solve a problem that needs to be solved?
  2. Does it add value?
  3. Does it work for the people using it?


  1. Does it solve a problem that needs to be solved?

Depending on your personality, there’s a chance you’ll either skip this step entirely or get stuck here for way too long!

Is it a want or need? Spontaneous decision makers might jump to resolve the irritating ‘want to fix’ issues without looking at the real cost. If that’s you, do a reality check: Is it worth your time and energy to fix it? What’s the bottom line? What happens if it’s not fixed?

The careful evaluators can get caught weighing every option and become mired in details before deciding.

Whichever camp you find yourself in, read on…

Know your strengths and weaknesses and try to keep the high-level view in mind.

If you decide it is a crucial problem to be solved and you’ve determined the cost of not fixing it, then it’s time to look at how to fix it, what your requirements are around it, and look for possible solutions.

If you started on this step – congrats! This is where you need to start with evaluating a system, however, there’s a large pause before the next evaluation criteria while requirements are defined, and possible solutions offered.

  1. Does it add value?

Businesses often end up here too quickly and end up with paralysis by analysis or setting up the wrong system. The previous step is an important first step and the ‘large pause’ to define requirements and look for solutions will help you avoid both problems!

There are some fantastic options out there, whether it’s software, refined process, improved communication, or …a simple plastic pill case. It has to solve the intended problem and add value when implemented. Remember, value can be joy or money. As long as you know what you’re gaining and that reaches your goal, then you’re good. Ideally, aim for fulfilling both!

If the solution is too complicated, too expensive, too time consuming, or too something, then it’s not going to add value.

  1. Does it work for the people using it?

Here’s the kicker. It might be the best system in the industry, but if it doesn’t work for the people using it, it’s not going to add value. This can be a tricky one and depending on your business and the people you have, you either need to change systems or change people. That doesn’t mean you implement the best system and remove resources! There are many factors and options here. It just means it’s an important consideration in the final decision. If you’re a systems person, like me, having process and tools are great. However, it’s not for everyone and if you have great people, it may be worth adjusting the system to work with them.

…BTW, if you’re the person you need to work around, give yourself credit for knowing your strengths and get what’s going to work and still add value!

That’s it –  there’s a lot more work in each one of these steps, but the 3000ft view is ultimately these three factors:

  1. Does it solve a problem that needs to be solved?
  2. Does it add value?
  3. Does it work for the people using it?

For all you systems loving, software and app collecting people, remember that implementing a system because it’s cool and works really well doesn’t guarantee a long-term solution. I mean… it’s a bonus, but certainly not where you want to start.

…and for those of you that are non-techy and app adverse, I’ll quote a favourite networker I know: “Systems don’t have to be pretty; they have to work.” – Karen Baring.


“The best system is the one that solves a problem that needs to be solved, adds value when it’s implemented, and works for the people using it.”     Lynda Davidson




How difficult is it for you to select the right systems? Does thinking about these three criteria help with the decision process?