Life at a tiny firm. In terms of business process, I envy it. Every project detail is between just a couple of people. Getting on the same page just… kinda… happens? Knowing what’s going on is easier.
As your firm grew, chances are, you replaced a pretty informal process with a meeting. Super common. Everyone piles into a room and piece by piece, we think of what we’re doing for the week. Hopefully, we don’t miss anything. Hope everyone had their coffee. Or Redbull.
Most take this process as a given, but it’s clunky. A lot changes in a week. Meeting only four times in a month gets precarious. And, adding more meetings? Oh boy. No, thank youuu.
Keeping that early firm atmosphere where there is an open exchange of ideas seems like… it just has to go out the window. But, it doesn’t.
Enter: Trello. It’s a killer app. Trello organizes your projects with neatly put together, completely searchable lists and cards. You can access them from your phone, tablet, or desktop. Open a card and you can start strike up a conversation, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels and due dates and more. In real time, any member can see the landscape of your project—task-by-task, as its evolving. And when big changes come, Trello will notify everyone who needs to know. Don’t wait for that lumbering weekly meeting.
Speaking of Communicating
Okay. There’s a lot to talk. Projects just need talking. And a lot of it isn’t tied to any specific piece of a project. Some of it shouldn’t even be on the project map.
Need to tell someone something? When your firm was smaller, all you had to do was lean over to your partner’s desk. Do this several times in a day and, you’re making rockstar changes on the fly. But now you’re bigger.
What now? Huh?
At Fohlio, we love chat apps. We connect to each other and our customers over chat all the time. Sometimes it’s the best way to test out an idea. You know, before adding it to a project map or a working document.
We go gaga for Slack. Right off the bat. It cuts email in half. You know the type. It’s not longer than a tweet and there are 50 of them. It’s lightening fast and goes straight to a mobile app. You can easily start up a conversation anytime. I was in line for coffee and made a call on some Marketing materials. Slam dunk. From half court! The buzzer goes off. The crowd goes wild.
Even better, drag and drop to share files and have them archived—and fully searchable—by channel or chat. Have all of your notifications come through Slack instead of having to check six different places constantly.
Keeping these avenues open makes sure everyone feels comfortable trying out ideas. Even if most don’t ever get to the project board. The process is invaluable.
Speaking of clunky meetings. Sitting down with a client after weeks of work can sometimes be disheartening. The reaction you expected out of the client sometimes just doesn’t come. It even happens with contractors sometimes. Weird. This causes all sorts of delays.
It would be nice to communicate project changes regularly with the client, but that takes hours. Every piece of presentation material takes data input. Someone has to manually put together those materials from folders, and Excel spreadsheets into Word docs and PowerPoint presentations. What if there’s a mistake? Woof. Those are hours you can’t waste.