Beyond Buzzwords: Standardize Definitions are Transformative Tools for Digital Agencies

SUMMARY
Standardize definitions enable agency growth, cut down on delays & improve your bottom line. Learn how to implement them.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Standardize definition as a transformative tool for agencies.
Standardize definition as a transformative tool for agencies.

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Let's say your digital agency is working on a major website redesign for a client. You'll need to onboard designers for the layout, developers for the coding, and a manager to plan the project.

Without any uniform specifications in shared vocabulary, problems ensue and frustration abounds:

  • Communication breakdowns, missing documents, and enraged clients
  • Delayed project timelines leading to delayed project invoices, and jeopardizing your cash flow
  • Low-quality deliverables risking a loss in referrals and future business

Instead of a major website redesign, what you get have is a major disaster.

This is where the importance of standardization comes in, for nouns, verbs, and every English word you need to operate an agency effectively.

A standard dictionary is your digital agency's superpower that keeps everything up and running because each part is seamlessly working together. Word lists provide a clear guide for each step and project deliverible, ensuring a flawless, transparent workflow. You and your team will find it easier to meet overall product standards and foster consistent communication.

In this article, we'll define what a standardized process is, how efficient standardisation plays a huge part in an agency's growth, and the best resources for effective implementation.

First, we take a look at the definition of standardized.

What Is the Definition of Standardize?

Standardization is conformity to a set of rules. Standards equip your agency with consistency, efficiency, and the ability to adapt and scale. A standardized process helps you better manage and oversee the entire business, reduce risks, and observe compliance. It involves normalizing requirements and establishing uniformity to attain an objective.

Standardization also plays an essential role in creating efficient, repeatable processes. It creates "business templates" that optimize operations and help you in:

Engaging in standards organization essentially serves as a basis for maximize team productivity and interoperability.

Why Is Standardization Critical for Agency Growth?

Standardized processes help businesses in scaling up.
Standardized processes help businesses in scaling up.

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International organizations use standardization worldwide.  Standard definitions, whether part of the Oxford dictionary or from the Spanish language, cut across boundaries and country-specified regulations. This includes the:

  • ISO
  • International Telecommunication Union
  • De Jure Standards
  • British Standards Institution
  • American National Standards Institute
  • European Union (EU)

Among other interest groups. But Ii is also widely used in healthcare systems, political governance, and successful private entities in various industries.

The role of standardization in scaling operations is to promote SIMPLICITY in streamlining the business processes. This is evident in seamless implementation which can make a huge impact on a company's growth. Take for example: IKEA and UPS.

Digitalization and the internet may have automated supply chain management long before the surge of e-commerce growth in 2020. Standardization simply supported the expanded digitalization by making the processes user-friendly.

Where others experienced shipping challenges, both these companies spearheaded their industries and stayed ahead of the game. And they're still growing.

Implementing Standardization in Your Agency: Where to Start?

Ready to take the plunge? Let standardization optimize your agency workflows.
Ready to take the plunge? Let standardization optimize your agency workflows.

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Now that we know how critical standardization is for a company or agency's growth, here are some practical steps to help you begin the process:

1. Identify the desired outcome

Reverse engineer the process to help you see the bigger picture and have a peek at the ideal results. This makes the goals you set for the standardization process more future-focused.

2. Assess the current rules

Replacing and removing ineffective regulations clears the way for a fresh start. Keep new rules as straightforward and as minimal as possible to avoid unnecessary complexity.

3. Map out the implementation process

Align stakeholders, job roles, and timelines with the goals defined in the first step. This helps to oversee and understand the implications and risks with each milestone you execute. While mapping out, bridge the possible gaps and make sure you proactively address potential concerns.

4. Establish relevant metrics for improvement and ask for feedback

Communication among team members should always be a two-way street, especially during the implementation process. While you should evaluate regularly using performance metrics, asking for feedback from employees and clients also helps improve execution.

Communication should always come from both directions to foster stronger employee relationships.
Communication should always come from both directions to foster stronger employee relationships.

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Tips for engaging teams and ensuring buy-in

Establish a business strategy with the team before investing in any standardized digital process or service. This fosters collaboration in strategy-building and prioritizes what direction the organization should take to maximize its potential.

When members are aware of the benefits, and what their contributions enhance, you promote commitment, accountability, and team engagement during the standardization process. Additionally, this contributes to the normalization of standardized processes in a team.

Remember, it better to lead with motivation rather than fear.

What Impact Can Knowing the Standardize Definition Have on Your Agency’s Bottom Line?

We don't only improve our operations, we also work in financially growing your agency through cost reduction standardized processes.
We don't only improve our operations, we also work in financially growing your agency through cost reduction standardized processes.

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Having a standardized process will not make your agency rigid and inflexible. On the contrary, it will make it more adaptable and transparent because you're encouraging a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Like Ray Kroc, the McDonald's expansion mogul, said, "The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves."  Henry Ford, the father of manufacturing, concurred, "Standardization is not the best that we know today, but it's something we can improve on tomorrow to get somewhere."  

Knowing the standardized definition and aligning your agency with it will provides opportunities to develop your agency's operational benefits. As you offer consistent quality deliverables to clients, uniform workflows, and cohesive team communication, you'll increase your company's financial ability through long-term cost reduction.

Can Standardization Stifle Creativity?

Worried that standardized processes will limit your creativity? Fret not, it even enhances your creative thinking abilities!
Worried that standardized processes will limit your creativity? Fret not, it even enhances your creative thinking abilities!

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Will standardized processes limit your team's creativity?

Standardization doesn't squash creativity. It gives boundaries from which to grow. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to standardization because every team is different.

In a standardized environment, we organize tasks and processes without putting individual brains in a box. Standardization actually frees up more of our time for brainstorming and creative thinking.

To maintain creativity while implementing standardized processes, we must combine a healthy mix of ideas and perspectives via collaborating on project creation and implementation. Keeping the standardize definition in mind doesn't stifle creativity, but supports and guides us, the learners, on the path to exploring and maximizing our potential.

Tools and Resources to Help Standardize Your Agency Processes

Using technology to create solutions that will help make implementing standardize processes easier and hassle-free.
Using technology to create solutions that will help make implementing standardize processes easier and hassle-free.

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Here are some of our most recommended software:

Wiki tools

A collection of software tools that help in creating, documenting, categorizing, and storing standardized processes. They make sharing and accessing creative assets much easier so there's no reason for anyone to miss them!

Project management tools

PM tools are essential to standardize workflows, create and assign tasks, monitor progress, and track deadlines.

Customer relationship management tools

CRM software is used to collect, organize, and secure client information and data. This is vital for standardizing sales processes like conducting marketing campaigns and making customer service faster and more efficient.

To leverage technology for standardization, it is important to consider the compatibility of the technological solutions you wish to implement.

Set the standards for your agency today

Here's a quick recap of this article's key takeaways:

  • Knowing standardize definitions and implementing them helps an agency oversee operations efficiently, reduce risks, observe compliance, and enhance preparedness to scale.
  • Standardization provides simplicity in streamlining the implementation of business processes in digital agencies.
  • We can implement a standardized process by identifying our goals, assessing current regulations, mapping out the journey, establishing metrics, and prioritizing feedback to improve.
  • Establishing a business strategy with your team will help make the implementation of a standardized process easier.
  • The standardized definitions and creativity work hand-in-hand, fostering a dynamic environment that provides flexibility within the organization's structure.
  • Tools like Wiki, CRM, and Project Management help automate the implementation of standardized processes.

Picture this:

Five-star reviews, commendations from satisfied clients, and a creative environment where team members can be more engaged and productive. Start utilizing the "standardize definition" in your agency and explore amazing possibilities when you optimize your workflows and processes.

Ready to implement improvements for your agency? Scaletime's ScaleMap will help you grow your business starting with this Free Operations Assessment. Contact us and let's talk about how we can help you out today!

Business operations consultant Juliana Marulanda
Juliana
Juliana Marulanda is a business operations expert, speaker, and the founder of ScaleTime. With over 20 years of experience across Wall Street, the non-profit sector, technology startups, and family-owned businesses, she now helps service-based businesses.