An Ounce of Prevention, A Pound of Cure: Effective Ops Management for Sharing the Load

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As you probably know, GridAKL moved house at the end of last year into our beautiful new home in the Lysaght Building. Since then, we’ve been getting used to the new space, Dojo-ifying it, and working through plenty of new systems and processes with the new space, partners and suppliers. And, throughout all of this, business as usual hasn’t slowed at all for BizDojo and our team!

 

When things get a bit frantic, it’s easy to justify not spending time on things like recording information and processes; it doesn’t always seem like a high priority when you’re juggling what feels like multiple flaming balls at once. One great lesson I’ve learned from setting up our new home is that taking that time to record those details pays huge dividends in the long run. Not only does it ensure a comprehensive knowledge base moving forward for your organisation, but it also means other team members can action things using an established process rather than every glitch requiring action from your operations point person.

 

Whether you’re an Ops Manager, an Office Manager, a Facilities Manager, or simply the person who looks after the physical management of a space by necessity because there’s nobody else to do it, here are my top three tips for starting as you mean to continue.

 

  1. Make notes as you go. Sounds simple, but don’t underestimate the power of note-taking when the guy from your alarm company is walking you through the back end of your CCTV system. As soon as you can after you’re done, reformat those notes so they’re concise and readable by someone who wasn’t there. Which leads to…

  2. Establish processes early on for how your team should direct feedback about issues with the space or supplier services. Failing to do this means you’ll be constantly swamped with emails or easily-forgotten comments about everything from the dishwasher sitting unevenly to the toilet paper not being refilled to the alarm notifications not being sent to the right person. For example, I’ve set up a Google Spreadsheet for our team to record anything in the space that the cleaners are missing and established a process for everyone to record the date, the issue, and who it’s been reported to. That keeps a running record of the issues that have been addressed, prevents dropouts due to human error on my part, and allows me to send through feedback in bulk to the supplier.

  3. Keep all this information standardized and in one location. Our team uses Trello, which is technically a workflow management tool, but very handy for storing basic information in an easily-digestible visual format. Each card houses contact details of a given supplier, details about the service agreement and plan, and a process for issues management (linking to a Google Doc or Dropbox file if necessary). This way, everyone knows where to look when they have a question or a problem, or to get clarity over how things work!

 

It’s heaps harder to wrangle all the information stored in your head or recorded across multiple platforms and formats down the line. So do yourself a favour and take the time, even amidst all the madness, to set up a consistent system that works for you and your team. You won’t regret it.

Sarin is the Community & Ops Manager at BizDojo Auckland, follow her on twitter here.