Your first startup: it all starts with an idea, a dream, a need. You put all your energy and passion into whaying to build, and the hard work begins to pay off. Before you know it, you hire employees and acquire more projects and clients. With all engines at full throttle, it may seem unnecessary or too time consuming to standardize your IT team processes. However, doing so positions you for the almost certain growth you’re about to experience and helps alleviate some of the stress that comes with it.

Start Off On The Right Foot

This is exactly the right time to implement standard processes so that everyone speaks the same language. First, you should define your purpose or goal as a company: what do you want for your customers? Then ask yourself what you need from your team members in order to fulfill your vision for your customers. In the IT industry, hiring well usually means finding someone with a foundation of strong technical skills. This sounds great in theory, but people in technology normally gain skills across several different areas of work, so everyone comes with a different background and set of skills. This is where standardization kicks in. Align all these great talents, merging them so that they work in a unified way. When someone new is hired he/she can then easily understand your workflows and become productive in a shorter amount of time. If you have standards written and practiced by others in the workplace, newcomers can acclimate much more naturally and quickly.

Practice Makes Perfect

Processes help implement your standards. For instance, you establish general coding standards at your company: Javascript, .NET, Java, whatever programming language you choose. This is a great starting point! But if you dismiss the way they are implemented, you can end up with different interpretations by different team members. Once software development standards are in place, institute specific processes and monitor them from the beginning to ensure everyone practices them correctly. As the time goes by, these processes become habitual, and the upfront planning will begin to pay off.

The Payoff

This is not easy work. It involves attention to detail and some policing of your own team which is not everyone’s idea of fun. Outsourcing is an option when you feel you need an expert’s advice.

No matter what you choose, it is important not to wait until things begin to break down. Implementing new processes while dealing with damage control creates twice as much stress.

At first it might seem difficult to organize processes and standards instead of working on ongoing projects, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.

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