April 2, 2015

Transforming the growing clutter into growing business

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Teams in small companies (of up to 20 people) organize well. They fit in one or two rooms. They all share one kitchen, and knowledge transfer can easily happen around the coffee machine. This facilitates direct communication, whenever needed. Management knows what is going on in all ongoing projects at every single step. This is enabled by an unwritten rulebook, based on extensive communication.

Dreaming big is great, and acting big is important. A part of this is to be prepared for real growth – at a certain stage of its development, every IT services company starts to feel the need to change something.

Whenever new people join the team, they bring new business flavors with them. Knowledge transfer becomes harder; responsibilities grow with the number of projects. With that, accountability declines and simple actions require more and more time to implement. People tend to let go of those unwritten “best practices” in favor of meeting the approaching deadlines. This leads to decreased results and productivity, which becomes obvious to the whole team.

At this point, it is crucial that all levels within the team comprehend the necessity for general, unified rules. If followed on a daily basis, those rules can create a stable, manageable environment that will continue to generate productivity in parallel to the business’ development. This can be done with the implementation of best practices, either from the non-proprietary standards (e.g. ISO series 9001, 20000, 27001, etc.), or based on proprietary standards developed internally or externally. To ensure that this initiative delivers results, it is important that you allocate duly the appropriate resources – people, time, financials, and processes.

In order to establish an effective management system, the internal processes should be carefully designed and maintained:

  • Not to overwhelm different types of projects within their application;
  • Never design the processes simply for the sake of creating a piece of paper – such case is destined to failure;
  • Don’t design processes that force the organization serve them, but ones that enable you to deliver better services to your customers;
  • Consider the different points of view and actively involve a variety of team/project/department representatives;
  • Don’t just follow a public standard or popular process methodologies. Interpret, tailor against your company’s practice, clients, or even corporate culture;
  • Align the processes to the changes in corporate vision, business environment, customer necessities, etc.;
  • Strive to continuously improve the processes, following analysis of areas/teams/ where performance has dropped

Provided the above is applied, the system will be able to sustainably deliver the desired results. Setting aside important team members for this reason can sometimes be a difficult decision – these resources would not be able to deliver their full capacity to the core business during the stage of management system design. However, this will enhance the adoption of efficient practices across the organization and because those will apply to the whole organization – this will facilitate easy relocation of resources between teams/projects.

We hope this helps you pave the way to transform the challenging “meet the deadline no matter what” atmosphere into a productive “comfort zone”.

ScaleFocus’ Process and Quality Management

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