Review Systems and Processes Within
A fast-moving company, with aggressive milestones, gets sloppy very quickly. This sloppiness exhibits itself in many ways: misfiled documents, unmet development milestones, lack of process, lack of follow-through, inattention to security of documents and intellectual property, poor treatment of employees, and pizza boxes in the corridors. Such sloppiness can cause a small company to lose contracts, frustrate partners, reveal company secrets, or cause employees to leave. A company does not survive on vision alone. For every Bill Gates focused on creating value, you need a Steve Ballmer making sure that there is suitable execution. In the absence of firm guidelines by the company founders, poor practices accumulate very rapidly. Some methods to achieve good systems are:
Systematic review of company processesCompanies need to create processes to ensure that there is a workflow that will lead to results and increase efficiency. Periodic reviews of the company's processes are required to ensure that they work or are being improved. Metrics should be identified with each critical process to understand where efficiency improvements are required.
Review company policiesNew conditions may warrant that the company change its policies to better survive in the environment. For example, the price of hotels, food, car rentals, and so on may have gone up. Yet the companies maintain the same policies for their salespeople in terms of daily expenses.
Elimination of wasteWho hasn't seen piles of paper, obsolete equipment like phones and wires, and finally pizza boxes lying around for days (or months) around the office? This junk needs to be cleared periodically in order to create a better working environment that will lead to more productivity. A clean office environment reflects well on the company, both internally and externally.
Employee review and attrition of nonperforming staffNonoptimal utilization of human resources can be irritating to the employee, to management, to other employees, and to the outside world. Choose good employees and provide them with the environment to succeed. This may require a good understanding of their skills and motivation using informal and formal employee reviews. Also inevitably, there will be some employees who do not fit, and it will fall to you to terminate such employees, for the benefit of the company as a whole.
In today's competitive environment, companies are required to be lean and focused. Any waste (tangible and intangible) needs to be eliminated.