Working in a startup is as challenging, as it is rewarding. There is immense flexibility, yet there are unending constraints. One of the primary constraints that bootstrapped startups need to live with is bandwidth constraints, which defines how much work gets done in the company.
Here are 5 nuggets of wisdom that we have instituted as a team culture to overcome the constraints and hurdles that we face on a daily basis:
1. Tomorrow never Comes
“Move the next steps forward from today’s work, today itself!”
Take a minute to understand this. On a daily basis, any company is involved in client calls, meetings, or discussions within the teams, and there are various next steps that come out of these conversations. By default, if these are happening in the second half of the day, usually the execution of next steps would happen the next day. Effectively, the entire organisation starts their day with backlog clearing, instead of looking forward. And the new projects keep getting delayed.
By instituting this practice, each person completes their today’s work, and the next steps from today’s work today itself, irrespective of how much time it takes. And hence, when we plan for our next day’s work at the end of the day, we’re always doing forward planning, instead of completing yesterday’s pending tasks!
Are your people starting the day looking forward?
2. There might be a better way
“If it’s taking too much time, there’s got to be a better way to do it.”
And there is. 8 out of 10 times, there is! Doing a task in the same manner for too long takes away our ability to think differently.
Next time when something is taking you too long, step back and observe! You might find a quicker, easier, better way to do it.
3. There is always a way.
The great thing about working at startups is the personal growth curve that each person on the team goes through. This curve happens at the hands of navigating hundreds of challenges and problems that the team faces every day.
At SpaceBoat, instead of learning how to solve a specific problem, we have learnt to think about solving any problem.
“When faced with a roadblock, instead of saying, ‘Oh. This can’t be done.’ force yourself to think, ‘This needs to be done. How can I make it happen?’”
Do you see what that does to you? Just by making this small shift, instead of processing problems, your brain immediately starts processing solutions. “This can’t be done” or “I can’t do this” is a big taboo at SpaceBoat! The next time when you face a roadblock, remember to follow this and solutions will start coming to you immediately!
4. Do more, ASAP
One of the most commonly heard phrases in our office is, ‘Do more, ASAP.’
As a startup, you always have limited resources, whether it is financial resources, people bandwidth, or time! You have no choice but to work harder, and smarter. Instead of pushing out today’s work for the next day, we believe in finishing today’s work today and taking on more. Working in a startup truly makes you realise what race against time feels like.
Humans of SpaceBoat love it so much, we have our own sticker for it!
5. "What gets measured, gets improved."
Ever felt that you spent ages on a project and still it seemed that it hasn’t even begun. This happens and will keep happening until you methodically measure the outcome of your constant efforts, there is no way for you to know how to improve upon your efforts to get better, or quicker results.
At SpaceBoat, we carefully measure the results on our efforts, analyse the data to figure the areas for improvement, and then improve our processes. SpaceBoat is committed to growth and improvement.