During our 8+ years in business, the Howard Tech team has dramatically improved our workflow and processes related to serving our customers. We desire to become a scalable, sustainable and profitable company. Good process seems critical to our potential success, and in turn the success of our customers.
Document All the Processes
For our Service Team, we have detailed instructions from the time a ticket is opened, how to classify it, determine to whom it should be assigned, and much more all the way to completion. We continue to improve the process, and document it.
Recently we’ve begun a new initiative to write down and systematize the many other workflows that are part of Howard Tech. These include recruiting, finance, staff training, marketing, partner relationships, vendor agreements and more.
For example, it’s extremely challenging for us to recruit employees. We are looking for the ultimate needle in a haystack – extremely smart IT folks who are friendly and enjoy working with others. Historically, we’ve considered more than 100 resumes for each position. That’s a lot of work!
So we’ve focused on that process, and how we might screen resumes better on the front end. We send those who pass that screening a survey. He/she answer a few questions quickly to help the candidate learn more about the position, and help us learn more about the candidate. Those who move to the next step in the interview process, a phone or in-person meeting, are then asked the same questions, following a consistent process. We then do reference and background checks just to be sure we’ve found the right person.
While we’ve been doing some version of these for years, we are more intentional than ever to write them down, and memorialize them into our culture to develop consistency. This reduces our risk and increases our chances of success!
What Are You Writing Down?
Recruiting is just one example of business processes that we are trying to improve. There are many others, and we’re just taking them one at a time! What about in your company?
- Are the core processes that align with your product or service offering documented?
- Are they consistent?
- Can a new person from the outside learn and follow them quickly?
- Next, have you considered your back office or secondary processes?
- Are you writing them down, tracking them, and sharing as appropriate?
- As your business evolves, are you updating them?
This level of process documentation is a lot of work, and we’re needing to constantly go back and review them. Our help desk and project processes will never be perfect, but we desire to continuously improve. In our “flat fee for unlimited service” world, this need for process is critical for our basic survival. We are making great strides in our primary service offerings, and are now using that model in every other facet of Howard Tech’s business. Wishing you great success as you consider how to best run your company! Just ask yourself “Did you write that down?”
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