Periodically, I’ll be asked about what tools I use to run Pressware. And though I don’t necessarily think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution, I’ve been doing this long enough to where there are plenty of tools I’ve tried, dropped, continue to use, and recommend.
So I thought it might be worth sharing both some of the digital and analog tools I use to plan my week, get stuff done with a team, and run a [very] small business.
Some stuff I’ve talked about before, others I may have briefly mentioned in passing on Twitter, but I’ll do what I can briefly outline each utility below. And then, perhaps in another post, go deeper with some of the utilities over the others.
Lately, there seem to be more and more articles published online that try to cover reasons for why companies should let their employees work from home. Case in point.
On the flipside, there are other articles that are talking about more intensive and more frequently performance reviews. They’re also being called “The Neverending Performance Review.” Case in point.
As a disclaimer, having worked in the corporate world I understand both sides of this.
I had the freedom to work from home as needed, though not every day,
Performance reviews were done quarterly.
But in the last six and a half years, I’ve been working exclusively from home and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And it terms of performance reviews, I don’t have any real employees (though I do have some great contractors, for what it’s worth) for which I’d administer a performance review.
Project management is multifaceted, and the way we all go about breaking up the various aspects of our projects are likely contingent on how our place of employment does it, how the client wants to do it, or how we opt to do it ourselves.
For this post, when it comes to working specifically on any given project, I’m specifically talking about how we take the requirements of a project and break them up into more manageable pieces and deliverables for the people for whom we’re working. And in doing this, I think it’s important that they’re kept in the loop and can see progress at the proper checkpoints to garner feedback.
Despite changing various aspects of my business as I’ve learned more about what works and what doesn’t, one thing that’s remained consistent in how I handle the development-related aspects of features of a project.
If you’re running your own business – be it a small business, a freelance business, or anything you’ve started and built from the ground-up – one of the scariest things can be hiring new people to help you with the volume of work that comes in as your business grows.
Don’t get me wrong: I think some of this can also come whenever you’re hiring for an internal team or some other scenarios I’m not considering, but this is all in the context of my experience.
It’s one thing to know when to hire, but it’s another thing to know who to hire, and then how to bring a person on board to begin working on projects once they are contracted to do so.
oWhat is it like to go from working on projects by yourself to working on projects with a team?
Or, more simply, what’s it like having contractors? The short answer is that I dig it because it affords some advantages:
we have to have a sharp division of work,
the business can take on more projects,
we’re able to collaborate on things (which is something I miss about flying solo),
The other side of this, though, is that I feel like I have to learn what it’s like to start a business all over again.
This, by no means, is a bad thing. It’s the opposite. But when you go from working on projects on your own and developing your setup, then there’s a period of adjustment that happens.
I’m still experiencing this and working through it. It requires both conversations with your team and a bit of introspection to determine if what you’re doing is still right for the way you work or if you should adjust it.