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Monday, September 04, 2006

Practical advice for the Start Up

"The wheel has already been invented"

The most treasured assets you have in your company is , Time , People and then cash, I want to share some of my experiences around Time and People today. Have you sat in a meeting and thought we are inventing the wheel all over again, or that I thought that we had made that decision already, both are problems that have been evident in all the start up’s I have worked for and some of the larger companies as well.

A few tips to help fix these problems, and I hope they help to stop the waste of Time one of your precious resources and they can be fixed with some good robust systems in place with your people, and off course they cost money, Take the salaries of all around the meeting table at one of these meetings and work out the cost to reinvent the wheel.

Make a decision log, good Prince 2 project management, keep updated with reasonable detail, enough to go back and see why you made that choice and have it with you at all meetings to refer to. Instil the discipline that all read and keep it in front of them when they are going set a meeting agenda, this allows them to not waste time on decisions that have already been made, or if they want to re-visit a decision then at least there is a baseline to build from.

Technical reports even on the bad stuff are a good way to gather the “tribal knowledge”, you have paid for it or your investors have, so get it documented. It will save you repeating work that has already been executed a while ago and to support that, a handbook of “brain dump” from the founders is a handy way to speed things up, if a company has come from an academic research program then having that post funding research at hand from the founding members will help the future generation of engineers to quickly get up to speed and also be handy when you are going through due diligence, it can be built upon from the technical reports.

Get both of these ideas on a database, set up an access database, low cost and robust and then you can distribute the learning quickly, put in what security requirements you need, but if you are frightened that your engineers are going steal the “crown jewels” you may have the wrong engineers working for you..

Well that’s today’s instalment



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