Organizing the startup’s work isn’t an easy thing. Whoever set up his first startup knows that even the simplest things, if done badly, can determine the end of a project.
One of the reasons why startups fail is the lack of focus on really important things. This is why it is important to set priorities and identify principles that will guide the work in your startup.
Even before the company was founded, when you only have one idea and want to test if it works, the founders focus on many activities. This is wrong. Selecting the right activities is very complex. Paradoxically, doing so many things could give the impression of opening up more possibilities for our business. But this isn’t the case. Try to focus on the activities you do: are they all so necessary for the product? Why contact investors and seek partnerships if you don’t have a product yet? If you stop and think, you will surely come to the conclusion that in the initial stages you have to focus exclusively on the product and the users.
In the initial phase of the activity, the organization can represent a real headache. It is essential to define the tasks of each teammate from the beginning. The assignment of tasks and activities should not be left to chance. For example, as founders of Teami, we have distinguished the areas of competence of each person by making them coincide with a specific department of the company (marketing, operations, finance, product, and development). Within the specific areas of competence, we have defined tasks that are specifically assigned to a person. If, in the context of a project, we need the help of another teammate we assign the task directly, then, he will find his name in the box related to his task. This rule is very useful because it allows you to avoid misunderstandings and allow the measurement of the achievement of objectives not only for the company but also for individuals.
Imagine inviting friends to dinner and wanting to cook more dishes. Also, in this case, it will be necessary to develop a strategy: you can choose whether to complete a dish at a time or cook them simultaneously. Cooking a dish at a time may appear to be a poor choice from the point of view of time but try to imagine the state of your brain when it has to remember many recipes at the same time and follow the cooking of all the ingredients. If you have done it at least once you will know that we often forget the salt or the secret ingredient that the grandmother told us to add to make that dish exceptional. Organizing work in a startup is like organizing a menu, you must take into account the order of course of the dish, the cooking times, the ingredients needed to make the dishes and also the ability of the chefs. So how do you go about not risking mistakes? The projects are usually all large and complex. Choosing to perform them all in their entirety could have the risk of doing poorly. Therefore, the first thing to do is to divide work into small segments that can be run in one-week sprints. This strategy allows us to avoid the avalanche effect on our brain (that is the effect our brain undergoes when we know that we have to cook all the dishes on our menu at the same time) and to measure the evolution of our work and capacity on a weekly basis of the team to pursue the set objectives.
One of the difficulties in executing a project in a startup is represented by the fact that people tend to want to decide how to perform the work of others. Unfortunately, it is common to invade the decision-making spaces that compete with other people in society, especially in the case of companies made up of young people, as the lack of experience sometimes leads us to believe that any person is capable of doing that job. If there are divisions of the workload, you must respect them! When you are working on projects that have been entrusted to you, do not take further steps than those required. Complete your project: start it, discuss it but finish it and don’t delay it. In the following weeks, you will have to take care of other things and you will end up not finishing that project or putting it in the background.
When working in a group it is necessary to set goals (c.d. Objective and Key Results). Productivity objectives are normally defined every quarter and serve to identify the results that the company must achieve at the end of the considered period. In addition to defining the general objectives of the company, it is advisable to define individual productivity objectives to keep clear how each teammate will contribute to the achievement of the general objectives.
Communicating is one of the biggest difficulties both if your team works remotely and if your team works in the same office. For this, it is necessary to define both synchronous communication channels and asynchronous communication channels. In the first case, it is advisable to schedule regular meetings so that the team can understand how the work is progressing. Since synchronous communication – that requires the simultaneous presence of the people involved in the conversation – is more demanding than the asynchronous one, it is necessary to establish communication rules also in this case. It will be opportune to define means and channels of communication and to identify the minimum nucleus of information that must be shared during the day.
If you want to know more about how we organize our work (tools, logistics, timing, etc.) or you have additional information’s, it will be a pleasure for us to update our article with your information. Write an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking for more information on our productivity tool? Discover more about Teami <3