Box Theory Business Systems Academy.

Software Introduction

Main Menu Options

The “Main Menu” bar at the top of Box Theory™ software displays tasks you can perform within the software. With each selection, the Navigation Panel and/or the Task Window change to provide the desired working environment. The Navigation Panel, on the left side of your screen, shows the tasks or boxes you can work on. The Task Widow—the main part of the screen—is the actual working area. Below are general descriptions of the each item on the Main Menu

File – You can use Box Theory™ Gold Multi-Company version for an unlimited number of organizations. More than one company can also be open at the same time. If so, you will see a Box Theory™ icon for each open company on your Windows task bar. In the Multi-Company version, select “New” to set up a new organization and “Open” to load any of your existing organizations. At first launch, the program automatically opens to the organization you were working in last. You can also do a “Save As” to create a whole new organization with the same Organization Blueprint, System Framework, and all components—a duplication of the database. For easy access, up to six recent company files are displayed from the menu. (Box Theory™ Gold and Silver are limited to one organization and database. Therefore, the “New,” “Save As,” and “Open Recent” buttons do not appear.)

In the File area, you can also Export or Import all or part of your Organization Blueprint to and from another Box Theory company database. The exported file has a “.blu” file extension.”  Note:  Of the ten Organization Blueprint Action Plans, you can only Export and Import the first nine. You cannot export/import the System Framework because it is deeply integrated into each unique company database. However, if you are trying to get the System Framework of one company into a new “blank” or “empty” database of another company, there is a solution. Export each  “Department” box (e.g. Marketing and Sales, Operations, Administration), and then Import the “.box” file into the new company directly under the top Company box. You must do this for each separate Department (level 2 boxes). This action will place all the Department boxes in the new company database, as well as all the lower-level boxes of each Department. Doing it in this way properly integrates the boxes into the organization and saves you the trouble of re-entering the system/boxes manually.

File>Administration – The Administration area provides a dialog box with tabs for performing various administrative tasks. They are as follows:

  • People – Add the names of people (a few or everyone) in your organization to a company roster. The names will show up in several places of the software on a drop-down list for creating system teams or assigning job descriptions. You can add names in other areas, but this is the only area you can edit or delete names.
  • Backup– Box Theory™ Software continually saves your company database while you are working. It also allows for a backup database to be created each day that you are in the program. You can click the “Backup Now” button on the Main Menu at any time to perform a manual save of your company’s backup database. It’s a good idea to do this occasionally throughout the day. You are also prompted to back up the database when you exit the software.Box Theory™ Software puts backup files of your company database in the “BTG Backup” folder located in your company folder—YourCompanyName (BTG). The file extension for all company database files is “.btg.”Box Theory™ Software creates one backup file with your company name and today’s date every day you are in the program. If you uncheck the box, “Delete Old Backup Files,” an unlimited number of daily backup files is maintained. If the box is checked (by default), files are saved for the three most recent days and a week apart for approximately a month. You will have up to eight backup files on your computer at one time. In File>Administration>Backup, select “Open Folder” to view your backup files. You can delete files manually at any time.
  • Restore –  Under the Restore tab, you will see a list of available backup files and dates. Select, open, and check the file you want to restore. Then simply click the button on the Main Menu that says “Restore Open Backup.” This will make the open backup file your current company database. It will also rename the old company folder with today’s date. When satisfied, you can delete the old folder and its contents. Restoring a Component Document Only – If you have a lost or corrupted document file (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) that you need to restore from a backup database, you can quickly do it from within the current active database. Right-click in the Component Manager. Go to “Import Document>Restore Document from Company Backup Database.” Select the system and then the document to restore. Click “OK” to import the document into the current system. You may need to rename it.Restoring a System/box Only – When you have a company backup file open, you can select a System/box in the System Framework and export its entire contents. Then import it into your current company database. This is a fast way to restore a single system. You can delete the old System/box that you are replacing.
  • Preferences –  By default, the English Spellcheck is enabled. You can switch to the Spanish Spellcheck or disable Spellcheck altogether. Because a lot of “loose” writing is possible in the Notes area, spellcheck can be disabled to avoid frequent red-underlined words.

– This standard menu item allows you to undo, select, cut, copy, and paste text. These functions also appear on the Toolbar at the bottom of the Task Window. You can use Ctrl-Z (undo), Crtl-A (select), Crtl-C (copy), Crtl-X (cut), and Crtl-V (paste) anywhere within a text box.

Find/Search – Search your organization database by selected categories or all categories using a keyword search. Each search will bring up a list of the items that meet the search criteria. The search will look for a string of characters that match the keyword search criteria (e.g., if you search for improv, it will bring up hits such as improve, improving, improvement). If you put quotation marks around several words, it will find all occurrences of that exact phrase (e.g., “quality and efficiency”). Key words are highlighted and shown within context. Double-click to go to that document or area of the software.

In addition, you can create your own personal Bookmarks for quick access to anywhere in the software. Right-click on the bookmark to rename or delete it.

Print – Printing goes above and beyond in Box Theory™ software. You can print any individual page or document as you normally would print with the document open, or from the “Print Current Page” area of the Main Menu.

You can also print an entire group of perfectly formatted documents such as the ten parts of your Organization Blueprint. What’s more, you can print a Systems Document with all of its component parts such as the flowchart, checklist, policies, job descriptions, and measurement reports, as well as the documents you have created in Word or Excel—all with a single click on the “Print” button.

Because there are potentially many printable pages and documents within the software, you have two ways to narrow down the number of items you print in a Systems Document. When you create a flowchart, checklist, component document or measurement report, you are given a checkbox (upper right corner) to “Include in Printing.” When this box is left unchecked, your supporting, secondary, or incomplete documents will not be included in the System Document.

Secondly, when printing the multi-part Organization Blueprint or the Systems Document in the “Print” wizard on the Main Menu, press the “Document Options” button to select the specific documents that you want to include or exclude. Checked boxes will print; unchecked will not. Use the level-viewer to also include documents in the lower-level subsystems. With the print wizard, you can completely customize your major documents.

Note 1: Sometimes you may want a document to start at the top of a new page to prevent it from spanning multiple pages. If so, click on the checkbox until a dark square fills the box. This tells the printer to start the document at the top of the next page. You can use the “Show Preview” button to see how your complete document will look and make necessary adjustments before actually printing the entire document.

Note 2: In a typical system, you may also have several documents you would print as part of the “System Document” such as forms, reports, and so forth. These documents are often given to the system operators to carry out their jobs. However, many documents listed in the Component Manager are likely to be resource or supporting information you don’t want to print as part of the System Document. For those documents that you want printed, check the box, “Include when Printing System Document. This check-box is found when creating or editing the document (In the Component Manager, right-click on the document and select “Edit Component Info. See the printing check-box at the bottom of the dialog window.)

Note 3: Be sure to set the level-viewer in the upper right corner of the Document Options  to include all of the documents that you want to print. Remember that the number of documents grows exponentially as you include more levels. The print preview will tell you how many pages will be printed. Remember: Any flowcharts or checklists that are to be printed must have the “Include in Printing” box checked at the top of the flowchart or checklist page. In addition, when printing a checklist, you have the option of embedding sub-checklists into the primary checklist, or printing them separately.

The printing feature alone will save you hours of finding, gathering and organizing documents. It is a powerful tool, designed to make your life easier.

Help – There are a variety of sources to help you implement the principles of Box Theory™ and Box Theory™ software. By selecting “Help>Help Content” from the Main Menu, you will see several general help documents. Please refer to the document, “Help Resources,” to learn the various types of help contained within the software. From the “Help” button, you can also “Submit a Bug” or suggestion for a software enhancement. In “About Box Theory™ Software,” you can verifiy whether you have the Gold, Silver or Multi-Company edition, and see the last update and version number of your software.

Organization Blueprint – Begin defining your business with the Organization Blueprint. This ten-step section will help you define who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there. The ten steps, as seen in the Navigation Panel, will take you through Mission, Values, Vision, Voice of the Customer, Voice of the Employee, SWOT Analysis, Strategy, Balanced Scorecard (goals), Organization Structure, and the System Framework. The Organization Blueprint ensures that the systems you develop will drive your companyin the direction of your vision and goals.

Box Theory™ Systems– Selecting this option will load your systems in the Navigation Panel on the left of your screen and prepare you for creating or improving individual Systems/boxes. This is the heart of Box Theory™ software  and will be where you spend most of your time.

Once you select a System/box to work on, you will go to the “System Taskbar” at the bottom of the Task Window. There you will select tasks to develop or refine a system—Process, Components, People, Quality, Speed or Measurement. The System Dashboard and High-Performance Attributes provide summary information about the system.

After selecting the System/box, you will use the Toolbar below it for help in accomplishing your system development work. The buttons provide Principles, Examples, Worksheets, System Notes, Video Help and Software Help. See the document on the Main Menu>Help called “Navigating Box Theory™ Software” for more information about each of these buttons.

System Framework – You will complete the System Framework as the last step of the Organization Blueprint. However, this is the one place in the software that you can see all of your systems in a Microsoft-style directory tree. You can also view development priorities and your progress with the High-Performance Attributes. This option is located on the Main Menu for quick access to your all of your organization’s Systems/boxes.

Measurement Reports– From this drop down list, you can quickly access the measurement reports created by the Report Wizard or the Spreadsheet Reports you have created using a Microsoft program. Select the report name and open it for viewing or data entry. For quick data entry, this Main Menu list includes all measurement reports you have created.

Backup Now – Your company database is constantly and automatically being updated while you are working. Backups happen when you exit the program. You can also click the “Backup Now” button anytime to update your backup file during a longer working session. I recommend it.

Copyright © 2008 by Ronald G. Carroll
All rights reserved