You will be amazed at how it can help your work day and team or client interactions.Tweet this
One of our 2018 initiatives was to spend time honing and solidifying our internal processes. One, this helps keep us all accountable to each other that we are doing our part and it also helps our projects be more efficient (and ideally, smooth running). If you haven’t spent time nailing down your own processes, whether you are a one-man-shop or a team of 150, do it. You will be amazed at how it can help your work day and team or client interactions. No more trying to make it up as you go, figure it out along the way, or guesswork. Also, eliminate the confusion and frustration that comes with not having a well-known path to follow.
Start with a list. Pinpoint one process that you repeat over and over. When you start it, write down everything you do as you do it! There may be variances as you go that you think, I don’t normally do this, so write that down too and why you changed it this time. Our overall process for each project has the same main tasks but each project and client lays claim to something unique. It’s like one of those charts where you answer “yes” and you keep flowing in one direction but a “no” takes you somewhere else. Understand your paths and what inspires a change in direction. For us, we even have a plan for those moments where we’ve encountered a completely new problem and are not sure where to go.
Write down your process as you go through it a few different times and you will start to see where there are repeat activities, extraneous and unnecessary ones, and also opportunities to set some consistency. Different people will illustrate this in different ways – a list, a chart, a graphic. Do what works for you.
Our process is pretty lateral which makes it a little easier to follow. You can read my blog about MailButler to learn how it plays into our process but as a part of our initial welcome to new clients, I list out our basic process in an email then review it over an intro call. For example:
Here are the basic steps you have to look forward to:
Discovery includes several steps from setting up file structures to a kick-off meeting. And Design and Development are weeks, sometimes months, long processes that require quite a bit of back and forth with our client. We use our project management system, Wrike, to keep track of these main tasks and also establish the many sub-tasks that we take care of internally. This is not really just eight steps! One step that is very important is that “Review” constitutes review by OUR team internally before we ever release it to client eyes.
There are projects that require tweaks, but for the most part, this is what we do! We communicate it to our clients to set expectations at the beginning and reference it throughout the project.