For those of you who prefer to read books about making money instead of making systems diagrams, operational debt is more or less what it sounds like: time-based debt accrued in service of the day-to-day operations of your business.
It’s similar to Technical Debt — the idea that a developer may build and implement an imperfect solution that will need to be fixed down the road. The “debt” part comes in when it takes more time to fix the problem than it did to create it. Unlike technical debt, operational debt can be applied to almost any business area.
Operational debt is one of the most common issues startups and other scaling businesses face, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of… but it does need to be paid back. Unless you are looking for it (and know what to look for), many leaders aren’t aware of it until it’s too late.
All that time you gained in the growth phase by skipping over building systems, workflows, and processes is piling up and will cause things to break down, grind to a halt, and at this point, you might even notice there are so many fires to put out that you can’t continue your focus on growing the business.
BGBO Co is on a mission to end operational debt, bring back your afternoon, and change the landscape of daily operations for businesses (big and small) around the world.