You found the right team to help you build your startup app idea, what’s next? While there is no right answer to how a project should be executed and managed, there are general principles that have proven to influence the outcome of a project. Recruiting the right person or team is 80% of the work because proven and experienced recruits will do the right thing, the right way. Here’s what to look for and expect.
1. Perfect Understanding Of Startup Goals
Chances are you had a long talk with the candidates about your startup and goals before officially hiring the right fit. After confirming the partnership, the first few days are usually focused on the details. I suggest you ask your team to email you all of their questions so you can provide them with detailed answers before discussing them over a call. This will give them time to prepare follow up questions and refer back to your answers as needed.
Documenting your startup journey up to this point will help you facilitate and accelerate this phase. If you interviewed potential customers, ran validation experiments and/or built a prototype, create a file with all the lessons learned, validated and invalidated hypotheses, updated prototype and conclusions. In fact, this will not only help you present and clearly convey your vision but also, it’s how you can cheaply test the riskiest assumptions so that your team focuses on what works or what’s most likely to work.
With everyone on the same page, next comes the planning phase.
2. Clear Milestones
Whether it is a small or big project, the goal set in the previous phase should be divided into smaller milestones with the steps required to reach each milestone. The right team will make sure to create a plan not only to share with you how they will achieve your goal but also, because roadmapping is the best way to proactively address expected challenges. The first phase answers the what while the second addresses the how.
In this phase, you should also expect a lot of questions while the team is preparing the plan. If you’re unsure of the best direction, don’t hesitate to ask them for their opinion and suggestions. This is why hiring the right person or team is most of the work. They can serve as your mentors as well as service providers.
Especially for early-stage startups, the second step depends heavily on the outcome of the first step. As such, the launch roadmap your team creates should always be updated. If your team frequently changes direction, it doesn’t necessarily mean they did a bad job planning. Data and customer insights will most likely dictate a different plan. For this reason, transparency and communication is of utmost importance.
In this planning phase, your job as an entrepreneur is to align team focus with startup goals. For instance, in software, because an intuitive and functional app doesn’t guarantee startup success, the team should be focused on customer needs as much as building a good product. For this reason, you’re better off hiring entrepreneurial team members who can help you build a startup not just get their job done.
3. Transparency And Communication
Having defined the first steps, milestones and deadlines, it’s time to keep everyone in the loop. Your team is encouraged to use a project management tool that organizes and prioritizes tasks while allowing you to monitor progress around the clock. Additionally, I suggest agreeing on a recurring weekly meeting to discuss progress and the next phases.
Remote work comes with advantages but should be no different than a workspace where everyone is tackling issues in person and as a team. For instance, some issues cannot wait until your next scheduled meeting. It’s important to give your team the flexibility and freedom to take the necessary steps quickly. The truth is, not every person or team will care to treat your venture as their own. Which brings us back to why hiring the right team is 80% of the work.