Using technology to scale a startup
Launching and growing a fintech startup does not come without its fair share of pain. Founders are stretched a thousand ways and one and keeping pace with opportunities keeps everybody on their toes.
One of the largest challenges is to ensure that every member of the team remains engaged with the work that is happening, is aware of the team’s ‘North Star’ (mission) and knows what to focus their time on. Here, we’ll briefly discuss how we leverage technology to ensure a smooth and effective
A cloud-based workplace Instant Messaging tool. As a means of collaborating with your team, there really is no better tool.
- Multiple channels. Creating multiple channels for different departments ensures that conversations remain relevant and focused, leaving room for the occasional ‘chit-chat’ in #Random. This means that as new joiners bolster your team, all employees remain engaged in all aspects of the business and have an easy medium to highlight new stories or raise points relevant to the department in a quick and easy manner.
- Tagging. The ability to tag people in a wide audience will fire a notification to that person suggesting there could be an urgent issue at hand. This feature is particularly useful in keeping everyone aware and removing confusion with who is responsible for which task at hand.
- Connecting apps. Being able to connect various apps such as GDrive, Trello and multiple in-house apps allows seamless sharing and collaboration on documents with other members of your team.
- Fluidity. The fluidity of Slack over emails ensures that as teams grow and workplaces vary across various destinations, a team can continue to accelerate, discuss, comment and argue ideas in a rapid and efficient manner – far more so than elongated email chains.
Trello is a web-based project management application. In simpler terms it allows you to break down and track the various tasks of a project along progress charts.
- Customised naming. The ability to name your progress bars as you wish. This ensures the tool remains extremely versatile and relevant depending on the mission and project for the team. A particularly effective road I’ve found goes as follows:
- Long-term plans
- Short-term plans <1 month
- Immediate work in progress
- Waiting for approval
This is helpful in ensuring all team members, new or old, are able to see where the company is headed in short and long-terms. It also means that everyone is always clued up with what is pressing and happening at the moment.
- Creating “Labels”. By splitting cards up into various different labels, you are able to ensure new teams are able to see which cards are relevant to their team.
- Tagging members to cards. With Trello’s most useful feature, you are able to assign cards to an individual or to groups. Hugely effective in ensuring that new team members are aware of what tasks are assigned to team members. More pertinently, helps new members keep aware of how they contribute to driving a company forward towards its overall goals.
- Different and inter-linking boards. An overall board is a good idea for smaller teams, as you grow you’ll quickly find that it is impractical to put the entire companies tasks on one board. It becomes extremely effective to create specific boards for each team and link them to cards on a overall board, also useful for linking multiple specific projects together. Extremely useful for scaling a team to ensure that all teams’ tasks are aligned and all are working towards the same goal.
The google offering to synchronise work across a cloud-based platform for teams. The Google suite is a brand of computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products all of which help to ensure scaling a team happens as smoothly as possible
- Google Drive. The ability to store company files in one centralised location significantly aids the scaling process. By storing files in a manner that allows all team members to locate, edit and collaborate on the same documents, it helps to remove duplication of documents and allows all team members to access relevant files.
- Google Docs / Sheets / Slides. Simultaneously being able to work on the same document allows teams to work faster and more collaboratively. The ability to track version changes and histories allows teams to restore to former versions and remove the “v.x” dilemma.
- Google Mail. Creating teams and aliases ensures that as new joiners are on-boarded, they can be kept in the loop with department-specific emails through the use of aliases such as “manufacturing_asset@”, “finance@”, “sales@”.
As EquipmentConnect grows, it is more important to ensure that all new members are communicating seamlessly, to ensure that each arm of the company is collectively working towards the overall mission. While there are many non-tech methods we utilise to ensure smooth work flows, we do find these technologies helpful.