So you have started a business, it’s been running for a while and now it’s time to expand. Perhaps you just got a new client, and you need to hire additional staff to share the workload. It’s fairly common to haphazardly tackle issues as they pop up in the early lifecycle of a business, and it can be quite chaotic, but spending a bit of extra time during the initial phases to research systems and project management tools will be worth it down the line.
When new staff are brought on board it’s important to have collaboration systems already in place – if there are several staff members working on the same project, implementing effective solutions for task and project management can prove very influential on future success. Get everyone to be in the loop about the progress of the task at hand, and effectively manage resource allocation that can otherwise turn out to be wasted – this is something that is commonly overlooked in new companies, as most tasks are handled manually. But in reality it can be a great time saver and can very much smooth out those growing pains.
One of the first steps would be to find systems that can make your work more manageable. Secure file sharing and collaboration tools are an important start, assisting with avoiding the hassle of having to manually handle file versions and repositories. There are plenty of systems and apps out there that do just this, like Dropbox and Google Drive, and you can build up a system from scratch with individual parts if you so wish. Find one file sharing tool, one task/project management tool, one CMS system etc. etc. But since you are just starting to scratch the surface of this quite complicated issue it’s usually useful to find a system that does everything for you. There are several examples of complete solutions to help you manage tasks, some are economical while others require a substantial investment. This is a great way to minimise hassle and headaches when there are probably more pressing matters to attend to.
Be sure to use a solution that utilises cloud technology as this is the most efficient way to keep costs low by not needing additional hardware for storing files and documents. Accessibility is important, and you should never have to be at the physical location of the data to acquire it, and if you can utilise your mobile to access everything, that’s a great advantage. Also, if the system has a built-in communication module this would also help organise information flow within the company by using instant messaging or conference calling.
Once the company grows there is a huge organisational benefit in using online workspaces. This is an area where teams can integrate with each other, share files, discuss ideas and assign tasks.
All this can be quite overwhelming at first, but once your company grows you will not regret spending early time on organisational tools for better project management and collaboration!