Get a Grip on Resources and Budgets with Time Tracking

Time tracking helps agencies improve their project management, budget, and resource allocation. But no one likes having a beady-eyed manager looking over their shoulder — even if it’s a digital one.  

Most of us have had to deal with a nitpicky micromanager at some point creating some management trauma. I know you don’t want to turn into that person and inflict that on your own team’s morale. But you need a way to keep track of your resources and budgets. 

Enter time tracking. 

UGH, I know. 

But I promise – this is a good thing. 

It’s a great tool, but only when implemented the right way, which we’ll get into here in a second. 

First though, a few important points. 

If you implement time tracking protocols and software with a hammy fist, your employees might feel the same way you did once — spied on, controlled, and micromanaged. 

But what if I told you that specific brand of paranoia isn’t justified?

That is if you can effectively communicate with your team on the importance of time tracking. And why it’s a good thing — for them. 

Let’s dive into how your business and your team benefit from time tracking. We’ll also show you the top time tracking tools to use to get a better grip on your resources and budgets.

Time Tracking, Project Management, and the Pareto Principle

You’ve probably heard of it — the Pareto Principle, one of my favorite principles, AKA the 80/20 rule. 

Applied to agencies, the Pareto Principle states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. Or a specific type of work. 

Do you know who those clients and projects are?

If you do, you can refocus your agency goals to maximize the most profitable clients or projects and improve your budget management. 

“But Juliana, what’s time tracking got to do with all that?”

Every hour you track is another hour that can be billed. When running fixed-priced contracts, you can identify the 20% that brings the most profits to the yard. 

You can weed out the types of projects and clients stretching your resources without doing much for your profit margins. 

Time tracking is a tool that can help scale your agency since you won’t be wasting time frying the small fish. 

Client management got you down? Your client onboarding probably needs some adjustments. It’s not too hard to do with our free client onboarding toolkit

CTA Button: Get the Free Toolkit

How does time tracking help your team members?

Scope creep can bury itself into your budgets, timelines, and also stress your employees. But in a lot of cases, workloads increase in such small increments, you might not notice. 

That is until you’re up at 3 AM stressing out about a project and not knowing how the heck it got so out of control. 

Implementing time tracking can help you identify when a workload is starting to get too big for its britches. 

But when employees hear “time tracking,” they often feel like Big Brother’s about to start spying on them. 

Tips for getting employee buy-in 

PMs, clearly communicate the point of time tracking to your team: 

  • We’re protecting our bandwidth so you don’t burnout 
  • We’re using time tracking to see what’s getting accomplished and when
  • Time tracking will reduce micromanaging because it increases transparency

On that last point, time tracking gives PMs the ability to supervise more efficiently. 

They won’t have the chance to nitpick or directly observe every single detail of the employee’s work process. With time tracking, project managers get a clearer picture of someone’s performance at a cursory glance.

Time tracking can also increase accountability across teams. 

If you’ve noticed a pattern of deliverables repeatedly missing deadlines, or certain team members taking on a huge workload, you might have an accountability issue somewhere. 

With time tracking, you can see where someone or a certain department might be slacking. Let your team know that time tracking can help with this issue and lighten their loads. 

When implementing time tracking, be clear about how you’ll do it, the data you’ll see, and how you’ll use it. 

Being upfront will go a long way toward building trust and getting buy-in from your team. So, manage expectations well in advance of implementation. 

Top Time Tracking Tools for Agencies

Make your life easier. When choosing a time tracking tool, get one with the following features:

  • Budget tracking
  • Freelancer tracking
  • Invoicing 
  • Project management integration

What about the price? If you capture just two hours a month, most time tracking software will pay for itself. We like these two:

Harvest

Harvest is $10 per month for each user and is one of the most popular time tracking tools on the market. It’s got all the important stuff you need:

  • Budget tracking
  • Built-in invoicing features
  • Ability to assign roles so that freelancers and part-timers can time track
  • Offers integrations with Asana, GitHub, and Jira

Toggl

Toggl paid plans are a little more expensive than Harvest — ranging from $10 to $59 a user per month. But it’s got a lower barrier to entry and is easier to set up. 

No need to set up tags, tasks, or projects. Just hit a timer, and you’re off to the races. 

  • Budget tracking
  • Invoicing abilities 
  • Freelancers can track their time
  • Integrations work through Chrome Extension
  • Great for small teams as it offers a free plan for up to five users

Your Next Steps for Time Tracking

Communicating with your team is the most important step in the process. Remember that.  

  • Figure out how you’re going to time track 
  • Be transparent about how you’ll use the data
  • Openly discuss your plans and goals
  • Let your team know how time tracking is going to benefit them 

Anytime you add something new to your team member’s workflow, building trust is key to getting buy-in. 


Have you wanted to use time tracking software to help scale your agency? What’s causing you to hold back? Let us know in the comments.

5 Marketing Agency Tools to Simply Collaboaration & Communication

So many tools. So little time. 

Figuring out whether the latest and allegedly greatest newfangled communication tool is going to help your agency scale is not an easy task.

There’s the tried-and-true email, Slack, Asana, Monday, Clickup, and so many more. They’re all good, but here’s the problem:

If your organization doesn’t clearly define the roles these communication tools play, information gets:

  • Disorganized
  • Lost
  • Jumbled

Communication and efficiency suffer. Bottom line, you can’t control chaos, and chaos is what happens when your tools don’t have clearly defined communication roles. 

Let’s ScaleTime fix that for you. Use these top agency communication tools in the right roles for agency growth. 

Best Agency Tools for Managing Projects and Timelines

Are you running headfirst into a brick wall of:

  • Confused staff who don’t know what tasks to execute or prioritize?
  • PMs unaware of project status?
  • No clear expectations or higher-ups identified?
  • Impatient clients tired of waiting for your team to get their sh$t together?

Then your issue is you don’t have an organized system to monitor your project status and manage timelines. Managing project timelines is critical to scaling an agency. 

The best collaboration tools for project management are tools like:

  • Clickup
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Monday

These are powerful project management tools with easy-to-use, modern interfaces for managing your project timelines. You can:

  • Plan project timelines
  • Assign specific tasks
  • Work on team management 
  • Monitor the status of each project
  • Quickly see where each project is on its dedicated timeline

But, these tools are NOT for communicating around things that are not directly project related, which lead us to . . .

Best Tool for Non-Task Related Communication

It’s Slack. Hands down. Think of Slack like a digital version of the traditional water cooler. Using Slack can help improve teamwork, productivity, and culture. 

Employees can shoot off a quick message or meme to brighten the day. Questions can be answered quickly and communication efficiently improved. 

Setting up Slack channels related to different client accounts and tasks can help keep communications streamlined. You can also invite clients to Slack channels so clients and account managers are all on the same page. 

Best Long-form Communication Tool

Email is one of the best communication tools for your vendors, partners, and clients. Unless, you can convince them or they have the sophistication to get on your project manager or Slack.  

If you want your communication to be efficient, clear, and concise, head on over to email to make sure nothing gets lost in translation. 

Email enables you to communicate a lot of complex information in an archivable form. And it makes it easy for you to archive important communication chains for later reference. CCing streamlines communication among multiple partners at different companies too. 

WARNING – you don’t want a hairy inbox! To get clients out of your inbox use automations to move actionable messages and requests over to your project manager to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. 

Best Collaboration Tools for Scaling an Agency

Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive are excellent tools for collaboration and storing critical project documents. Team members can access the cloud from any device, anytime, and anywhere. 

Ever lost your brain on a project? Then you need to start using Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

Google Drive is empowered with Google’s search capabilities so docs are easily found and accessed. Store your instruction forms, SOPs, and other vital documents in the easily accessible cloud. 

Communication Tools Help Everyone Work Smarter and Faster

One final tip — invite your clients to use these tools. This can help you all work smarter and faster and hit those deliverable timelines. 

Just make sure you identify any cracks in your client processes and fix them first. Let’s just say, boundaries are beautiful and vital to a project’s success. 

Put your communication aces in their places

Today’s agencies need powerful collaboration and communication tools to hit goals and consistently deliver results. 

Increase your efficiency and communication effectiveness, and you’ll have an easier time growing your business. 

Whether you want to ixnay the crossing of communication wires or improve workplace culture, these top business communication tools can help.  

What agency communication tools have you used? What results did you achieve? Let us know in the comments!

Creating Sexy Systems with Smart Technology and Even Smarter Documentation

Stop employee morale degrade

Stop productivity dwindle

Stop profitability downswing

Most of the clients I’ve worked with faced some common “problems” before I helped them step up their processes.

Some of these issues I regularly hear about are:

“We don’t have the bandwidth to take another project.”

“We don’t know how to collaborate better.”

“Our team is too scattered. We don’t have a centralized database for information sharing.”

“An important client asset is missing; I don’t know where to find it.”

“Delegation is a nuisance. How to do it quickly without micromanaging?”

So, how to improve, Juliana, how?

I say with the right TECHNOLOGY and DOCUMENTATION.

If you’re lost in processes (like many businesses), take your employees out of the confines of their silos.

Enable them to collaborate and ramp up better — with the power of technology and documentation.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: make your team collaboration-and-delegation-ready because the lack of collaboration and delegation leads to inefficiencies.

And you can scale your inefficiencies faster than anything else.

Here’s how you can leverage technology and documentation for creating BEAUTIFUL PROCESSES and SEXY SYSTEMS.

Technology

I understand that chaos is the order of the universe. 

Choosing the right tools and pieces of technology will help you:

  • Work across verticals
  • Work across platforms
  • Work across teams – especially the collaborative and telecommuting ones

I mean, how to find all the information you need to get your business going?

For example, if Employee A is in Sydney, Employee B is in Singapore, and you’re sitting in New York, how the heck are you going to collaborate?

You would need all the information in one place — without banging your head against the wall.

Enter technology, and you’re on your way to cutting out the crap and improving performance.

Technology automates tasks and creates efficiencies. So, you and your group can concentrate on the more critical parts of the business — the BIGGER stuff.

Documentation

There’s no ONE document that you need to keep handy all the time.

You have to keep ALL your business documents easily accessible by all who are involved in your business processes.

From the video screencasts to the screenshots, the meeting minutes, the agendas, the contingency plans — every single piece of paper — hard copy or soft copy — should be well-documented to get into the nitty-gritty of the workflow.

Documentation helps you delegate things quickly and help people ramp up quickly.

Let’s say, John, your Account Manager, leaves the organization. You hired a new manager, but they’re clueless about which client needs what.

So, what will save your bacon? Documentation, baby.

When all your information is documented, your employees will be able to use it without any fuss — whenever, wherever.

Documentation = Quicker Delegation = Conversions $$$

It will also help you create quality along the way and have people do things the way you want them to do reliably.

So, as you skate around your expertise, take technology and documentation along with you. They’ll check off your goals sooner than what you’d do otherwise.

And they’ll keep your sanity intact.

Don’t Let Your Tasks Fall Through The Cracks

  • Adopt the right technology for better collaboration
  • Adopt documentation to track all of your projects and delegate quickly

 Here’s to stepping up to the next level.

If you have questions on what tech and documentation processes we use here at ScaleTime, leave a comment, and I’ll share it soon.

5 Pillars for Creating Stunning Processes for Your Business

Struggling to create a process? You’re not alone.

Companies lose 20-30% of their annual revenue due to inefficient processes.

And that’s freaking HUGE!

Many of my clients and prospects ask me, “Juliana, how can I create processes for my business?” Or I sometimes get, “How can I improve the processes I already have?” 

I advise: Rip those layers of red tape must-dos and GET SH$T DONE.

Processing a process is way more than having repeatable systems in place and that super-strong desire to document.

It’s the meta process of your business. It’s how you take the core part of your business and make it effective and efficient.

At ScaleTime, we understand you need super-awesome systems. And you need super-super-awesome processes to help your systems level up.

To unlock opportunities for efficient, effective and quality scaling, we use the following five pillars.

So, brace yourselves for the grand reveal of our killer five-stage approach that works for us every time and will work for you too.

1. Workflows

First, you need workflows. These are the repeatable steps that you need to keep track of your projects. They’re fantastic at giving you a bird’s eye view of the core part of your business.

So you can track a document easily. But workflows? That’s a different animal altogether. 

Creating a workflow process for your business is a checklist that lives in your project management systems and CRMs, helping you track the work being done. This lets you breathe more easily because you can see the workload, capacity, and deadlines. 

Think of the workflow as aides you need to define the people and technologies involved in the processes. And creating them is nothing less than an art – because your processes’ beautiful execution begins with the rightly crafted workflows.

2. Tech Stack

When creating business processes, you need to be skilled at leveraging technology. Because at the end of the day, it’s about collaboration. No matter where your team is, you need that collaboration to be visible and trackable. 

The main things in your tech stack should be: 

  • Project manager
  • CRM
  • Accounting software
  • Scheduler
  • Password protector

Your tech stack should include technology that creates efficiencies, streamlines communication and automates specific tasks so that your business can focus on high-level stuff.

3. Documents

How in the world can you delegate things quickly when there’s so much to do?

Through documents.

These are the support assets you need so that you are not reinventing the wheel.

This step of the process includes spreadsheets, decks, screencasts, screenshots, client documents, agendas, and all the information that helps you get into the nitty-gritty of the workflows.

It’s your key to faster delegation and to enable people to ramp up quickly.

4. Training

Remember that your business process is agile. You won’t have the same processes when you’re a $1 million business vs. a $5 million company.

As your business scales, it changes everything — from sales to production, from project management to the people involved. You need dynamic instructions to teach people how to perform tasks and reach levels of excellence.

This is where training helps.

It ensures you don’t get stuck in a rut and enables you to innovate and ramp up confidently.

5. Metrics

Metrics are the numbers that measure the efficacy of the processes.

Right Measurement = High Profit.

Understand and measure the key performance metrics for your business’s core part:

  • Metrics
  • Outcomes
  • Time a process is taking
  • People’s performance

This will help you drive results and profits.

So, there you have it: the roadmap to successful processes.

But, hey, when you have stunning processes in place, remember to keep optimizing and updating them.

Treat them the same way you treat your marketing campaigns or product launches. Because sustaining successful processes is as important as creating them.

Repeat After Me: Your Meta Process Is A FIVE-STAGE Approach Involving:

  • Workflows
  • Tech Stack
  • Documents
  • Training
  • Metrics

Go ahead, rock it.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

I’d love to know how you optimize your processes and which processes cause you the most headaches.

And if you’ve crushed it in a process, I’d love to know that as well.

BLM What do systems have to do with race?

Juliana, you do systems – right? explain how racism is the system please.

Remember when your systems were a little screwy (no shame here – it happens to the best of us) and it made you feel suuuuper uncomfortable?

It didn’t let you fall asleep at night.

If you got another client, another request, or another “common sense” interruption, your system might break.
Or, you might kill someone (figuratively).

I often preach, “When you put off working on your systems to the back burner, that’s the stuff that will burn the house down!”

Our system is broken and these streets are on fire, literally

While sipping coffee in NY on a beautiful pandemic morning, I got a DM from a Jamaican friend, with this image, confused AF yet curious to know what systems had to do with race.

I responded:  
Our defaults, our patterns of behavior are systematic.
They are molded by our beliefs. 
The collection of habits and behaviors create our processes.
Those processes build the infrastructures that now become the system. 

beliefs 
➡ automated/systematic actions 
➡ systemic behaviors/processes 
➡ the infrastructure that is the system

Que Que? 
Okay, that was a mouthful. 
Let’s get a little less abstract. 

  • Jada Doe values keeping mother nature happy. (beliefs)
  • She creates personal habits that reflect this and ripples to all parts of her life. (systematic actions)
  • JD has a paperless business with all green practices based on her values and beliefs that hires and produces eco-friendly people and products. (systemic processes)
  • Eco-friendly sustainability becomes the default state of practices and outcomes based on the infrastructure Jada has created. (her system)

Jada has ensured that every input to every process of her operation is sustainable and therefore all outputs are designed to lower the carbon footprint.

This is why when building a system, I tell my clients to ALWAYS cross-reference your values and beliefs with your decisions, because:

Culture is created by design or by default
Either way, it will get created systematically 


Systemic Racism refers to HOW society operates:  the system disproportionately harms people of certain races regardless of whether there are racists in the system or not. 

When the default practices formed by conscious and unconscious racial bias create our social infrastructure, it allows for a system that  leads to: 

  • voter suppression
  • unequal school/ employment housing
  • lack of any true wealth creation practices
  • million-dollar blocks
  • school to prison pipelines that makes me want to cry
  • list goes on…& on…


That is our system 

When something is wrong with the output. 

Then something is wrong with the system. 

Then you know, 

IT’S TIME TO REDESIGN 

How Do I Manage Information Access for My Team?

Has this ever happened to you?

EMPLOYEE: We need a new hire for [sales, marketing, accounts, etc]!

YOU: What?! We don’t have the money for that because we JUST hired in a different role!

It begs the question–do your employees know what’s going on with your business? From hiring to projects to new initiatives, how are you managing information access?

Managing Information Access for Your Company

When you first start your company, information access is usually informal and unilateral. You only have a few people you’re working with, and everyone gets access to the same info.

But as your company grows, these conversations will start to take place in portals like Slack, Facebook groups, or your project management software. When someone goes on vacation, you still have access to all the information you need.

Once you get to a staff size of 5-15 people, this might stop working as well as it used to. The info is good and useful, but you have to train new employees. So you create a knowledge base in a Wiki or something similar to help you disseminate the information better. There’s a central place where people can catch up and get up to speed.

When you break 20 employees, information starts to get siloed. The leadership group is funneling the information down through meetings and memos. This might work for a little while if there’s only a few silos.

But as you get to 100+ employees, you need to start thinking of information as a heat map. Who needs to know what? What pockets of people need access to what kind of info?

You need to think about how information flows from you as the leader to the people doing the work, whether they’re employees, freelancers, or clients.

The Sales/Marketing Feedback Loop

When it comes to information access, the biggest thing to pay attention to is the feedback loop between sales and marketing. When communication and information flows freely between these two departments, it will make things more efficient and help your business development efforts. Sales can let marketing know about pain points or feedback from prospects, and your marketers can adjust in real time.

But here’s the thing–you don’t have to wait to get bigger to tighten up that loop. 

It doesn’t matter how big or small your organization is. 

If you have a gap between sales and marketing, as you scale that gap is going to scale along with you. The earlier you can close it, the better.

The Benefits of Improving Your Information Access Process

Listen, I know you’re busy. Figuring out your information access might seem like a low-priority task. But I promise that once you streamline this process, you’re going to see major benefits. Here are just a few:

Make Your Customers Happier

When your employees are empowered with information, they can actually make your customers happier! The faster you can answer a customer or client’s question or concern, the better. 

If you have informed, engaged employees with immediate access to the answers they need, you can help customers resolve their issues—fast.

Make Your Employees Happier

When you keep your employees in the loop, their energy and commitment to your company goes up. You’re going to see this reflected in the way they turn from employees to brand ambassadors. 

When your employees become privy to important information—whether it’s your company’s mission or a client folder—they feel like part of the team. They go from employees to partners.

Increase Profits!

Here’s an easy equation for you:

Informed employees = better service = happy customers = more profits

If you give your team access to important information in a central spot, customers with a problem won’t have to be passed around like a hot potato until they can find someone in your organization to solve their problem. When everyone is in the loop, you don’t waste time on filling team members in when there’s a service issue.  

And because you’re not wasting time trying to find the right person to solve the problem in the first place, your employees can be more productive.

Happy customers and efficient team members can be the key to higher profits!

Empower Your Leaders

You’re not the only leader on your team. 

You need your other leaders to have easy access to important data about your business so they can do what they do best. 

Whether it’s research and development, marketing strategy, or sales bottlenecks, giving them key info can mean the difference between a well-oiled, innovative company and a disorganized company where processes are too overwhelming to allow for innovation. 

Tell Me!

How do you organize your information access? Is it working for your team? 

If not, no worries. I can help. Let’s chat about it.

How to Delegate Effectively: 3 Way to Delegate More & Worry Less

Most leaders–whether they’re leading a government or leading a company–are delegating on the fly. Things are changing minute by minute, and we all want to be responsive to these changes. But how can you do that without driving your team crazy and getting lost in the chaos?

All you need is a system for delegating that can be established quickly and tightened up later. And I’m going to show you how to do it.

How to Delegate on the Fly

When it comes to delegating tasks on the go, the first thing we need to do is set our employees up for success. Obviously that’s what we all want, but how do we achieve it?

Create a Safe Space

First of all, you need to let them know that it’s ok to fail. Nothing and nobody is perfect, but the fear of failure can still be paralyzing. If you give a team member some quick instructions for a project without any guidelines, they won’t know what to do. Put yourself in their shoes. Tell them–“hey, it’s ok if you make mistakes. That’s ok. Just give it a try.”

Be Transparent

Next, you have to be transparent about where you are with things. Maybe you have a brand new idea that you think is amazing, but you haven’t figured out all the specificites yet. That’s ok! Just be open and honest with your team. A lot of us are flying the plane as we’re building it, so things look really messy. But this is all about partnership. You and your team are in this together. So being transparent with everyone about where a project or idea is, who is supposed to be doing what, and how things have progressed is crucial!

When you’re delegating on the fly, make sure you and your team understand that this does not have to produce a final product right away. You’re giving minimal instructions that are often unclear. That’s ok! If you have them, give your team members some examples or research to get started on. It’s all about lighting the match. You just want to get them started down the right path.

Check-In

Delegating on the fly is all well and good, but these ideas will never come to fruition without a good process in place to check on their status. You can do this with a short check-in. Establish the first milestone–it should be relatively quick and small. Then you can check-in with them early on in the project to make sure they’re on the right path. And if they’re not, you can course-correct quickly. 

Just a quick reminder–when you’re giving out tasks on the fly, either you or your team member has to put it into your project manager. Otherwise it’ll just get lost in the abyss. You have to document them in the right place if you want them to get done.

But you’re busy. So how can you facilitate these check-ins so you actually do them and don’t bottleneck the whole damn project? You set up a review process that is easy and works for you. 

For example, I have my team attach screenshots of deliverables in our project manager. That way, I can review their work and give feedback when I’m in line at the grocery store or have a few minutes between calls. It’s easy and accessible on my phone, so I’m more likely to do it in a timely manner. That keeps everything from getting backed up in the project pipeline.

Initially, this might all be modge-podged together. But this will become part of your feedback loop, and you can adjust the process as you go along. Operations are all about adjusting as you go to make your life simpler and your work better.

Need help navigating operations and workflow with your team? Let’s chat–I bet I can help you delegate projects and boost productivity in no time.

Want to crisis-proof your agency ASAP? Take this 3 minute quiz and get some free resources to keep things on track (even during an international pandemic).

Infographic: The Art & Science of Delegation

Ever feel like you’re spreading yourself too thin as a small-business owner? Our infographic explains how you can grow your company and avoid burnout by learning to delegate.

art and science of delegation infographic

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Simply copy and paste the following into the code of your chosen web page…

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Spankin’ New Workflows – Because you can’t track a document

“I don´t wanna!” I would rather eat my vegetables than create a workflow.

 I would like to say workflows allow you to be more efficient, optimized and automated.

What is a workflow? Webster states (so you know it’s true):

But, the actual beauty of creating a workflow from what I have witnessed is that going through thousands  of these is not that it is a structured process … it’s a creative process, it is where the ideas and brainstorming for customer service, upgrading your quality and innovation come to life. It’s what allows you to get out of working in the business and love it again.

It’s actually quite romantic.

You may have instructions and documentation for the business that you may or may not update from time to time so why need a workflow?

Shakespeare aside, you can’t track a document!!!!

So when you are out and about, on sales meetings or god forbid a vacation – you need to know where in the process your actual team is on client work.

A part of not wanting to create a workflow is the where do I start?

What goes in a workflow:

  • First, figure out your project manager. Check out what Systems Have to do with Dating for guidance on how to pick a project manager.

Make sure you can create a template!

    • A home for all your workflow assets (templates, videos, and documentation) – this can be a database, dropbox, google drive   
    • The steps/tasks in the process
    • The medium – how is the step being completed ie phone call, tweet, email, document shared
    • Instructions for what needs to be done to complete each task – Highlight the big priority for those team members that already know how to get things done but might need a little reminder every once in awhile
    • Time line – how much time is in between steps, what does the follow up look like for communication, reviews and approvals and what to do when other stakeholders do not respond
    • Who’s responsible for each step
    • Centralize your communication with team and clients –  get out of your inbox and identify exactly what piece of the project needs attention
  • Success criteria, deliverable or output — how do you know is this workflow working? When is it complete?

Reminder: the workflow is meant to be an ACTIONABLE, ITERATIVE process

This means that it’s a living document and will grow with your business, technology changes and industry fluctuations

The best part of the workflow is that you get to delegate — wooohooo. Not only that, but you can train newbies with the same standards of excellence. Everyone that touches that workflow can iterate and make it better.

The second best part is that you will never have to do this again because you can just copy the template per client — like this (most project managers copy who is responsible for the tasks, so every time you get a new client your team knows what they are expected to do)

Bonus Tip: Workflows allow you to centralize your communication.

    • Stay out of your inbox
    • Contextualize conversations within tasks
    • First, it’s a training tool, then it becomes a tracking tool #FTW
    • Reduces hand-holding as you move towards making things stupid proof
  • Removes “common sense” syndrome

What Choosing Your Systems has to Do with Dating

Let’s skip the small-talk… And no, this is not the speed-dating circuit. Grab a seat here at the bar, settle in, order a drink and I’ll jump right into sharing some of my secrets… Ready?? OK, great, let’s get started…

Whether it’s a project management system or a client relationship manager (CRM),

there comes a point where you realize you need a system to download your brain, track and keep up with your workload, you need to update your system or you need to switch to a new one.

“Juliana,  there’s so many systems out there; what’s the best system?”

Well… the app store comes out with a shiny new, friendly funded startup app for systems almost monthly, if not daily!

It’s overwhelming.

Of course it’s part of my gig to be playing with these new systems all the time — so I do have many thoughts, opinions and complaints on the matter.

But that’s not answering the question.

So let’s rephrase — What is the best system for YOU, Right NOW?

Tweet This: Here’s the kicker: what’s a great system right now, guaranteed, will not be a good system 5 years, or even 1 year from now. Annoying, right?

So, I like to think of the process of picking a system like dating.

“Whhaaaaat?!?”

Lesson 1 — Don’t get too attached and align with your values. (Ughhh I know — here come those attachment issues).

Lesson 2 — Play the field! You are going to want to date a few systems before you commit and see which one fits you and your team the best. (Did someone say poly?)

Lesson 3 — Your systems are like looking for Mr or Mrs right nownot Mr/Mrs future. You are not marrying it, you are just going to have a very adventurous short term relationship with it (ouch!).

>>>Want to make sure you’ve got the most crucial systems in play? Download this systems check to find out.

Here are some things to look for when you are in the dating phase of your systems search…

Think of this as your ScaleTime Systems Value Set:

#1. Is it user-friendly?

How is the user experience? Is it easy to navigate?

Better yet, is it easy to train your staff on it? (This will save time, money and headache).

It’s just a matter of facts — attractive apps get more action.

#2. Is it mobile-friendly?

When you’re running around closing deals and making it rain (oooooh yeah!), can you track what your team is doing?

Will you be able to see if milestones and deadlines are being met? Can you review on-the-go so you don’t become the bottleneck of progress?

A lot of business is done on the go — will you be ready for that or do you want to be called and texted and asked for the 50th time what needs to be done next.

#3. Is it visual?

Is this something that is easily viewed and maneuvered? Can you drag and drop? Or do you feel like you needed to go to a top programming school just to make an edit?

If it’s not easy to set up or edit, chances are you won’t use it and your staff won’t use it. Leaving you with another sad and lonely tool that is shelved and a full email inbox of “how do you do that, again?”

#4. Is it collaborative?

Can your team work on it simultaneously? Does it have templates? Can they share, review, edit and comment on it? Can you?

Teams are becoming more flexible on how they work, where they work and on what devices they work — be prepared to set them for success no matter what.

#5. Does it report?

Can you run quick reports? Can you easily track progress? How do you know if your team is actually performing? How do you know when and  if the business is performing?

Sometimes systems can feel like a data sucking black hole. You just input input and input without any return. It’s important to view what the data is saying so you can see trends, seasonality, hiccups and challenges. Clarity allows us to make better business decisions.

“Everyday is a new day to make better choices”

(—my man Deepak. It just got deep in systems world).

#6. Overall: is it easy?

Running a business is hard; your systems don’t have to be.

Not every system will fit your style or your team; so flirt some and date around.

There’s plenty of apps in the marketplace sea!

Ready for the first step?

>>>Download this Systems Check and if there are any crucial systems your team is missing.

Well, it looks like the bar’s closing for the night. Thanks for the drink! It’s been fun so let’s do this again sometime okay?

Oh, and one last thing before I go… Disclaimer! Don’t actually use this or talk about this for your dating life!! LOL