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The startup work culture thrives on chaos and agility. Unlike large enterprises that have bureaucracy and processes at every step along the way, startups often have a flat hierarchy and this helps with quicker decision making. But such a work culture has its negatives as well. Startup employees often have too many things on their plate and this brings down productivity and efficiency. This is in addition to the burnout that startup employees routinely suffer from.

Unlike common perception, startups do not have to necessarily lose their agility by adopting best practices. It is possible to enjoy the benefits of being a startup while building a process-driven organization. Here are a few such best practices that can drive productivity and efficiency up in startups without compromising on the core startup values.

Follow a process calendar

While it is okay to experience chaos in the workplace, that should not be the hallmark of your startup. Doing multiple things at once only means that, as an employee, you are not contributing one hundred percent to any one activity. Startups can only become successful when they become more organized and sure-footed of their strategies. Preparing a process calendar that outlines all the various tasks to complete in a day is vital for two reasons. Firstly, this brings more sanity to the workplace and ensures that employees can focus on one task at a time. Additionally, creating a process calendar forces startups to plan their activities better. This builds greater persistence which is a very critical component for startup success.

Collaborate & Consolidate

The division of labor often gets blurred in startups and all employees do a little bit of everything. Not only is this inefficient, but this routinely leads to situations where more than one person ends up working on the same task. In a workplace that is already scarce on resources, such mistakes can only make the situation worse. With a process calendar in place, the next step is to collaborate with fellow workers to assign the roles and responsibilities of each of your workers on the various pending projects.

But collaboration can only work when all your employees are equally invested in the collaboration tools. Success with collaboration is only possible with the help of better consolidation. Without consolidation, work done by one of your employees may be inaccessible or not be in the format that another employee can work on. This creates an additional layer of friction in the process.

Instead, startups must invest in consolidation tools that can ensure that there is only one version of the product that everybody is working towards. For instance, migrate from hosted solutions like MS Office to cloud based alternatives like Office 365. Similarly, use a data organization service like Templafy to bring together all projects your team has been working on in one place.

Weekly status meetings

If you have a remote working team, then it may seem logical to execute all your communication virtually over project management tools. At the outset, this also makes sense since this strategy also documents all communications between team members, making communication more effective. While this is true, it is also important to hold weekly status meetings. One reason why status meetings are so important is because text-based communication may not always capture the entire essence of a conversation. A weekly face-to-face status meeting (at least over a virtual medium like Skype) brings team members together in one place. This way, participants are more likely to bring up any concerns and issues they have about the project and it helps teams avoid last minute firefighting.

Best practices are here for a reason – they make the job more streamlined and eliminate any possible inefficiency in the system. Adopting these practices in a startup workplace makes the business more efficient and effective, which only improves the agility of your organization.



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