Rules to Better Daily Office Operations
DevOps is about keeping software healthy by releasing often and inspecting stats each day from the live system.
DailyOps or ConsultingOps is about managers keeping a consulting company of engineers working well every day.
It's been said that in order to succeed you have to show up – nowhere is that more true than the workplace. Knowing where your staff need to be is paramount.
Daily Scrum is an important part of operations, and making sure that your staff has participated in Daily Scrum activities helps to keep projects and team operations on track.
Daily Scrum meetings can be conducted in person or virtually (by email or by tools like Microsoft Teams), and should be completed everyday to make sure product owners are stakeholders are up to date on what is happening. See Do you do Daily Scrums (aka stand up meetings)?
- If you participate in any Daily Scrum meetings, ensure you are prepared to discuss your planned work, your prior period’s work, and any blockers you need help with.
- If you are the Scrum Master, ensure that you are responding to any team blockers or taking action on individual matters as they impact your scrum team.
- If sending a Daily Scrum update by email or other virtual communication, ensure that it's done by Noon. This allows your Scrum Master or product owner to be fully informed of what's going on in a timely manner.
Figure: Schedule your scrum meetings to take place the same time each day. If sending Daily Scrum by email or Teams, make sure to schedule it in your calendar the same time each day, just as you would a normal Daily Scrum meeting.
- Ensure your staff send their Daily Scrum to their product owners as per product owner specification. Make sure to check that all staff have participated in or submitted their Daily Scrum activities so that product owners are kept up to date. If staff are sending in Daily Scrum emails, consider sending them to a company Daily Scrum inbox where you can check quickly to see who has sent their Daily Scrum email.
- If your staff are sending a Daily Scrum email, ensure you use a consistent format from day to day to prevent any confusion.
Figure: Daily Scrums can be sent to a company Daily Scrum inbox account where you can check which staff have sent Daily Scrums and check which ones are missing
Don’t leave people hanging – ensure you review your email, SugarLearning, Timepro, or Intranet accounts for items from staff and colleagues to review and approve each day
Figure: Make sure you review and take action on any approvals daily so that they don't back up
The majority of client issues arise from miscommunication and miscommunication on invoices and accounts issues can make things very difficult very quickly. Therefore, you should always process invoicing on at least a weekly basis.
(see Rules to Better Timesheets)
During invoicing you should ensure:
- All timesheets from the previous week have been submitted by staff
- Review your clients in TimePro and determine whether you need to issue a new invoice, or draw down time against an open pre-paid invoice
- Allocate the unallocated staff time for each client to the appropriate new invoice or existing open invoice
- Generate a PDF version of the invoice or pre-paid balance report to be sent to the client, and triple check it for accuracy
- Make any necessary changes, and once the invoice or report is in final format, send to the customer contact as an attachment with a personalized note. Make sure to copy your company's AR department so they can monitor any payment
- Call the customer contact for billing and let them know you are sending over an invoice or report, and offer to answer any questions they have
- Always double check that your client hourly rates in a time tracking system such as TimePro to match your agreed upon rates (i.e. taking into account any discount for pre-paid time, etc.)
You should have every day a list of follow ups if using the FollowUpThen service. Perform follow up calls and emails as necessary in the following priority order:
- Existing Clients
- Prospects, leads, or new business
- Internal affairs
Your office reflects your business and provides a consistent experience to both current and potential customers. Much like your house, you usually wouldn't invite guests over if your house isn't clean or organized. The same with your office space, you should make sure everyday that if your customers walked in, at any time they would be impressed by your team's professional appearance.
Here is a sample DailyOps Checklist. It is all about the experience.
- IMPORTANT: Ensure your office is open and closed on time as per your advertised business hours. The start time of the first and last time should be in sync with your Google Maps account at https://maps.google.com
- Ensure your office is clean and tidy. The first person in should do a walk through to check on the evening cleaner
- Perform a client ready walk through each day. It is all about the experience.
- Pretend you are a client walking through the office
- TV monitors, Bots, and other featured office gadgets should be turned on and working
- Marketing material should be present, available, and neatly arranged, where appropriate
- All conference room whiteboards should be clean and clear and conference room tables empty of debris
- All conference room cords should be hidden to the best of ability
- Conference room chairs and furniture should be arranged neatly
- Ensure that everything else in sight would be appropriate to a visiting client.
You should ensure that any building related issues are attended to, this can include:
- Any security or access issues
- Any tradespeople or maintenance staff visiting the building
- Issues with internet, utilities such as power/water or trash
- Any body corporate issues or other localized issues
- Contact your financial controller or corporate contact for assistance of to notify them of any issues requiring more detailed attention
Timesheets are essential as they are required to bill clients or to document the work that is done, and record progress against projects. Making sure that timesheets are in on time help keep things running smoothly and prevent major gaps in reporting, billing, or client value.
See Rules to Better Timesheets.
- You should remind your team each week to turn in timesheets as required by the deadline
- Remind your team of the benefits of turning in timesheets early
Communication is key in any business, but what’s most important is that team members are given a voice and encouraged to participate in communications that have an impact on how they work and do business.
See Rules to Better Communication.
- You should ensure that staff know about, respond to, and are included in relevant company communications such as surveys, training, and announcements
- Remind your team of communications that require time sensitive follow-ups
We want a world of great user interfaces so when purchasing online cast a critical eye (or complimentary eye) over your experience. If you see something painful (or cool), then take a screenshot and tweet and share your experience.
More info on Customer Experience on Adam's blog: From UX to CX – Improving the Customer Experience.
- Figure: Positive shopping tweet
- Figure: Negative shopping tweet