This week, I asked one my clients, Nadine Schofield from Project Management on Demand, to write about the importance of processes for all business, including start-ups. This is what she has to say….
Some would argue that process from the beginning of a new business is unnecessary. With a small team, you can shout over your shoulder or ping each other on Skype to say ‘have you finished that yet?’, ‘ did you get the file the client sen?t’ etc., rather than putting long-winded processes in place.
However, there is a strong argument for having a process from the beginning for the following reasons:
- You will look a lot more professional to your clients
- You can create a schedule based on process so that you and your client will know what will be delivered and when
- There’s a stronger case when projects move out of scope to be able to reign them back in; for example, using the statement of work, the agreement of three rounds of amends and the testing process
As your business grows and you take on more people, an embedded process will mean that those individuals know how your company projects run from day one avoiding different folk working in different ways.
The key is that you have talked to the whole team and understood from them how they manage certain parts of projects and what they would like to see in the process. A process enforced without team input can put people’s back up!
How to implement new business processes
The business leaders need to be the advocates for implementation. Firstly, the processes needs to be presented, understood and agreed with the rest of the team.
Once agreed and rolled out the business leaders need to ensure the internal reviews happen, the processes fit to schedule and stages aren’t skipped. Of course, a process can be flexed up and down according to the projects but it gives a good basis for management.
Maintenance of the process
Maintaining your business processes is key. Here are a few ways that this can be done:
- Regular checkups based on the above
- Educating all new members of the team on the project processes
- Amending it where it’s not working
- Flexing it depending on the type and size of projects
About the Author
Nadine is the founder of Project Management On Demand and has been in project management in digital media for over 16 years, working with large agencies such as DDB, DLKW and agency.com.