I'm working on setting up the organizational foundation of my startup (defining my startup's structure and who's in charge of what), but I'm lost because I'm not a management expert. What are the strategies/tools I should use to establish my company's structure?

I've been involved with multiple startup teams, and advised quite a few as well. Some teams work great, others not so much, and dependent on the team members themselves, structure can either be a bane or a boon.

One of my secret weapons for helping startup teams get moving without excessive structure is what I call "active triage" > Start pushing the jobs to do, every one of them across the board, into a single centralized list, accessible to all team members (unless there is something super confidential only certain people can address).

The key to this method is twofold:

1) Everything goes in one place, though you could have one list for each key area

2) Everyone is encouraged to actively take ownership of the tasks, by putting their name next to an item, and when it is done, recording the time took and that it is complete.

It sounds simple, but it is very very effective as it increases visibility, accountability and shows very clearly who is actively participating in the company, and who isn't.

You could implement this in a Kanban board, or Asana, or any of the project tools that are out there - It's not the tools that matter, it's the process.

Although this may not immediately solve your startup structure issue, it will absolutely provide you with insights into what is actually getting done, and who is doing it. Both vitals insights to ensure you get the balance right when you do get your structure together.

I'd be happy to have a quick call with you if there is anything I can help with.

Answered 6 years ago

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