Over the past couple of years, we’ve likely all lamented the explosion in the number of online meetings we’ve been having. The increased opportunity for meetings thanks to online platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. has meant that many organisations find it easier to have more frequent, often unproductive chats rather than spending time adjusting internal processes for efficiency. While frequent meetings are not necessarily always a negative, choosing between fixing a core process here and now that would make meetings less necessary versus adding X non-billable hours per week in meetings for key employees should be a no-brainer.
Achieving the right balance takes an internal culture that discourages meetings-that-should-be-emails, while still making it clear that inter-employee communication is a top priority. It also takes a project management and software integration setup that allows team members to give and receive feedback deliberately and quickly. This boosts turnaround time for projects, along with reducing project management overheads that could be the key to being profitable that month – or even wining that new client.
A positive internal culture makes business sense for several reasons. And we’re not talking about billiard tables or health insurance benefits. While those are also great, treating employees like adults allows them to act as such. Fostering attitudes that prioritise mental health and compassion will help employees achieve a healthy balance between work and their personal lives.
Doing this is proven to reduce staff turnover and improve employee engagement, which in turn means that teams are more consistent. Additionally, less turnover means less time spent on training new recruits is required. More than half of our development team at Cleverbit is based abroad, yet through meetups, team building efforts, and overall concern with more than their performance at work, we’re able to keep a tight-knit team together for the long-term.
At Cleverbit, we use the Agile methodology to deliver solutions to our clients. When executed well, Agile can boost delivery accuracy, flexibility, and quality to our projects. It reduces downtime and makes our clients feel involved in the project without introducing bottlenecks. In the tech space, Agile is also relatively widely used, so for clients we work with that have used it in the past, it’s familiar, while also being a tried-and-tested, easy to understand system for those who haven’t.
Agile also makes it even easier to collect data about the progress of projects. Couple this data with a strong BI setup and you suddenly have the ability to get a very accurate idea of overall business performance with key indicators that outline where process improvements can be made or where potential issues may arise.
All three of these examples have the shared overall benefit of reducing overheads and increasing efficiency. These are key to increased margins and the ability of a business to reinvest in itself, creating a virtuous cycle of product offering improvement to current and future clients.
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