Back when I worked for an ISO 9000 certified company and was feeling overwhelmed at the extensive documentation and process, I learned that writing the requirements avoided “bus-terminated projects.” If all the requirements are in the head of a product manager, there’s a huge amount of risk. Putting it all down on paper ensured the continuity of the project.
There’s a lot to be learned from that message for a start up. If you’re like us, money is tight and staff is lean. With little or no depth on the team for any given position, however, risk is considerably high with all those single points of failure.
That same ISO 9000 company was in the uninterruptible power supply business helping network administrators maintain uptime, and from that I also learned how redundancy exponentially reduces your risk.
Now, we’re not in the position to hire a second head count for every position. We have, however, used this as motivation to be purposeful about using contractors. We seek additional help, and line up contractors, in key areas so we’re able to weather a catastrophic event.
The additional bonus to this strategy is we have trained resources to help us load balance when our client list grows suddenly (and we see our fair share of that). With major brands using our Booms (custom browsers) as a means to stay connected to their consumers and fans, we’re often trying to meet deadlines whether it’s the season opener for a sports team or a new tour for a music artist. Having this small level of redundancy built into our team is ensuring we’re meeting immediate demands in addition to protecting our future.