All posts in Management


Ask Before You Hire: 12 Interview Questions for Web Developers

freelance web developer interview questionsWith 5+ years in digital marketing, Yulia Mamonova is driving Lemon.io’s growth with her spot-on writing and clear messages. A writer and a researcher at heart, Yuliia knows how to engage with the readership and build a story that’ll stand out. Yuliia has written over 1500+ pieces over the last few years reshaping the world of FinTech, startups, and content marketing with her skills.

If you are reading this article, you may have already considered outsourcing some of your work to a freelance professional or perhaps even had some experience hiring a freelancer for your project. Or you may have been on the other side of the fence and taken up gig jobs yourself.

Anyway, the post-COVID world has shown us that we need to reevaluate our approach to ‘normal’ work and that freelance workers or independent contractors have a lot to offer to modern businesses facing a lot of budget constraints in these interesting times.

By hiring skilled freelancers, companies can secure themselves the expertise that would otherwise be hard to afford. They can be more responsive to the ever-evolving customers’ demands and still save money by cutting down on benefits.

However, to bring these perks to life, one must choose a real hero of the business’ story, someone who will understand what your team is trying to achieve and consistently contribute to the company’s goals.

In this Process Street post, we’ll be covering:

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Faster Decisions & Improved Team Collaboration: How to Horizontalize Knowledge

how to horizontalize knowledge
Imagine a military regiment holding a position of key tactical importance, let’s say a bridge. Situational awareness is crucial. The success of the operation depends on access to information that can inform situational awareness, and provide tactical & strategic advantage. In other words, a situation where information is nothing short of vital.

Such a regiment would have access to a large-scale technological intelligence network: aircraft spotters, satellite-mounted motion sensors, heat detectors, and communication eavesdroppers. Commanders with high-bandwidth taps into the supporting intelligence network should have access to vital information to enable decision-making while in the field.

Now let’s imagine that an opposing force seven times the size of this regiment began approaching from three directions. Such a force should not be difficult to detect given the field intelligence available; yet that’s exactly what happened according to David Talbot’s story published in 2004’s MIT Technology Review about the U.S. Army’s 69th Armor Regiment holding a key bridge on the Euphrates River in 2003.

This story perfectly illustrates the problem of vertical vs horizontal knowledge.

The problem was, front-line troops had terrible situational awareness because the flow of information was inhibited by a vertical command-and-control structure (rather than a horizontal flow).

Information had to travel up the chain of command so that major commanders in the rear could interpret it, and then send their decisions back down the line. This resulted in huge latency; the information was there, it just wasn’t getting to the people who needed it when it mattered most.

Talbot’s story goes on to contrast the organizational structure of SPEC-OPS forces organized into small teams of two-dozen; rather than being linked to a single central command, the teams were networked to each other with a designated individual per team responsible for managing flow of information (between their team and the others’).

In these special forces units, flow of information was “flat”, or horizontal; leadership contributions & decision making involved every team member, not just the official designated leader.

In this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at how you can implement horizontal knowledge management in your organization.

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How to Implement Workplace Monitoring & Preserve Employee Autonomy

workplace monitoringI play video games at work.

It’s the remote manager’s nightmare: A wayward employee who does whatever they want because they lack the strict supervision of the office to keep them in line. Critics of remote work would seize on this very scenario as proof that remote workers are merely lazy and entitled.

Should employees’ web activity be tracked to make sure they’re putting in a solid eight hours of work time?

For those remote workers who don’t have designated space or equipment that is “work use only,” why should they agree to be surveilled in their homes and on their personal devices?

How do you guarantee that both your clients and your employees can feel secure that what is meant to be private will not be made public?

Most importantly, if the deliverables are delivered when they should be, does it matter how they got there?

In this Process Street post, I’m going to (attempt) to provide answers to some of those questions, discuss the issues employers need to consider before monitoring employees, and look at some “soft surveillance” alternatives to hard data collection.

Read on!
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Don’t Micromanage: How It Destroys Your Team and How to Avoid It

micromanage

It’s hard watching someone make mistakes, especially if you already know how to avoid them.

Staying silent while they slip up (or even do things in ways you would not) is harder.

That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to micromanage them.

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It’s demoralizing and counter-intuitive, as the desire for control to make sure everything goes to plan only creates more problems in the long-term.

That’s why in this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at:

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Eliminate Noise & Make Better Business Decisions (+ Free Noise Audit Template)

make better decisionsmake-better-decisions

“Where there is judgment, there is noise – and more of it than you think.” – Kahneman, et al Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

The city I live in is home to a very old, very beautiful, and very famous cathedral. It’s been a hotspot for tourists since the days of Chaucer (of course they weren’t called tourists then) and still plays an integral role in the community.

No matter where you are in the city, you can see that distinctive spire above everything. If you managed to get turned out (not as difficult as you might think with many small, medieval streets), that spire will lead you straight back to the center of town. It’s pervasive and omnipresent in such a way that – ultimately – leads to it being utterly ignored.

The main thing you need to know about this cathedral, though, is that it has bells. Loud bells, and many of them. And these bells toll. A lot. Like a lot. Not that briefly pleasant trill of bells you might get on the hour or quarter-hour, either. Some days, I’d swear the bells never stop ringing at all.

The thing is, much like the spire, I never paid much attention to the bells – until they stopped. For the year+ of varying levels of lockdown during the pandemic, the bells remained silent. Lockdown ended and things started reopening, including the cathedral and the cacophonic celebration of every pigeon coo by those accursed bells.

Yeah, it’s become a bit of a thing.

This, dear reader, is an example of noise – both literally and figuratively. The cathedral has always been there – unobtrusive, in the background, subtly influencing my actions and habits without any conscious awareness on my part. It shapes the way I move through the city, my awareness of time, my mood, my memories; but, before lockdown, if anyone asked me if it had any impact on my life, I probably would’ve shrugged and answered, “Not really.”

Noise is everywhere, and it affects every decision we make – especially because we aren’t even aware of it. We all know to check our biases when it comes to important decisions, but how often do you check your noise?

At Process Street, we take good decision hygiene very seriously, so this post will examine the idea of noise presented by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein in their book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, and use those ideas in our very own Noise Audit Workflow.

Feel free to skip ahead for the workflow, or stick with me as I discuss the theory of noise:

Let’s make some noise!
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5 Tips to Improve Psychological Safety in Hybrid Workplaces by Focusing on Workflow

5 Tips to Improve Psychological Safety in Hybrid Workplaces by Focusing on WorkflowTeams are like families.

No, I don’t mean in that cheesy, woo-woo “We are family” way we all roll our eyes at.

Yeah. I’m gonna be singing that song all day.

Teams are like families in the very literal sense that you’re thrown together with a bunch of random people you may or may not have anything in common with, may or may not even like, forced to interact on a daily basis, and expected to – somehow – make that all work.

If you’re lucky, you end up with the Bradys; less lucky, you’d be right at home among the Bluths. Or the Bateses.

Most of us – hopefully – probably end up somewhere in between, but team psychological safety is important even if your manager isn’t hiding in the attic after faking his own death.psych-safety-attic-hideoutThe fact is, though, you can’t force psychological safety; it has to be something you create organically – as a team. Not everyone’s sense of safety will be the same, and more significantly, each person may not be able to explain exactly why or why not they feel safe in a particular group or situation.

But fear not, dear reader: I have a solution. By focusing on your team’s workflows, you can substantially improve their psychological safety and foster an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Coincidentally, perfecting workflows is what we do here at Process Street, so in this post, I’ll explain five ways you can use workflows to improve psychological safety within a hybrid team.

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The 4 Ingredient Categories Your People Analytics Framework Needs to be Effective

The 4 Ingredient Categories Your People Analytics Team Needs to be Effective

“I really must go to the third floor,” Renfield insists over the other employees’ protests. “I’ve been asked to consult with the head of people management about creating an analytics team. They’re expecting me.”

One of the nearby workers grabs Renfield’s lapels and pulls him close. “You don’t understand,” the man says. “We here in the office believe that people management is…” He glances around, nervously, leans closer and whispers, “We believe they’re really… human resources!”

“Oh, that’s just assistants’ gossips,” Renfield says. “Now, really, you must let me through. I have an appointment.”

“Wait!” The office manager pushes through the crowd, waving a form above her head. “If you won’t listen, then take this W-2. It’ll protect you.” She thrusts the form into Renfield’s hand and adds, “It’s riddled with mistakes.”

The third floor is dimly lit, offices still only partially constructed, furniture still draped in plastic. No signs indicate where he should go and a sense of abandonment clings to the scent of still-wet paint. “Hello?” he calls.

A figure appears, the light flickering around them. “I bid you welcome,” they say, and Renfield notices the tappity-tap-tap of many fingers rushing over keyboards. “Listen to them, the collectors of data. What music they make! Come along,” the People Team leader instructs, gliding down the hallway toward a single shaft of light Renfield can swear wasn’t there a moment ago. “Data is the life, Mr. Renfield.”

Wait. Why are you talking about vampires again, Leks?

There is a reason, and I assure you it’s not merely a way to shamelessly shoehorn my side interests into work-related topics. (Mostly.)

For contemporary businesses, data really is the lifeblood of your company. It’s what keeps everything moving from making sure there are paper clips in the supply cabinet to getting your product into the hands of the right user. Without accurate, up-to-date data, your organization isn’t even in the running to be a successful company.

While gathering quality consumer data is essential for the contemporary organization, data analytics has another equally important role to play: people management.

There are four main categories you need to think about for an effective analytics framework: Enablers, Deliverables, Stakeholder Management, and Governance.

In this Process Street post, I’ll explain what they are, how to use them, and how to not be creepy about it. Before you know it, you’ll wonder how you ever made HR decisions before people analytics came along.

Let’s analyze some data!
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How to Manage IT Tasks Effectively with Process Street (+Video Walkthroughs!)

Oliver Peterson
September 20, 2021

manage IT tasks effectively

If you’re a Systems Administrator or performing any kind of IT managed service, your daily tasks are often repetitive, complicated, and easy to forget.

Especially if you’re new to the role, things can quickly become overwhelmingly difficult to track & execute effectively. New employees have a library of techniques specific to your setup to learn, and it’s almost impossible to manually track each task in a way that’s easily accessible.

That’s why IT managed service teams worldwide use Process Street to manage & automate their daily workflows, for processes like:

  • Network & server security audits
  • Reviewing audit logs
  • Performing daily backups
  • Penetration testing
  • VPN configuration
  • Firewall audits

In this Process Street article, we’ll show you some examples of how our customers manage their daily Systems Administrator & IT tasks.

You’ll learn everything from how to create workflows that adapt to your current situation to automatically assigning tasks to specific people based on their role in the team.
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Change Management Models: 8 Proven Examples to Evolve & Thrive

8 Critical Change Management Models to Evolve and Thrive

For your business to survive it will need to evolve. For it to evolve, you need to make changes. Without a change management model, the success of those changes is up to nothing more than hope and dumb luck.

I’ve already gone over how to form your own change management strategy, so for this post, I’ll outline everything you need to know about 8 proven change management models that will put your organization at the top of the food chain:

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How to Calculate the Customer Health Index for Sustained Performance and Improved Client Retention (By up to 95%)

customer health indexThe customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) was in the highest percentile, yet I found myself closing the account. How did we miss this churning customer? Were there early warning signs we’d failed to notice?

I used to work as a technical customer service representative for an environmental testing laboratory. It was my job to keep an eye on the accounts I handled. I needed to make sure the customers were happy and meeting their goals with us. For this, we relied heavily on NPS scoring, but this measure was failing us.

NPS scoring could be failing you, too.

The problem is that NPS metrics give reactive, snapshot values. Plus there are other aspects to an account’s health beyond customer satisfaction. For instance, you need to understand your customer’s goals and whether they’re on track to meeting those goals.

According to McKinsey and Company, perfecting account health scoring can improve client retention by up to 95%. If I knew this, I could have prevented that one account from churning. In this Process Street article, we introduce a more comprehensive and proactive means of determining the health of your accounts: the customer health index (CHI).

Let’s jump right to it!
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