December '18

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DECEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 59 "Often, the large concept builds we are involved with are worth millions of dollars, deadlines are extremely aggres- sive and we cannot afford to waste time with excessive meetings. Projects require a complete understanding by all team members as to progress and daily objec- tives," shares Zeile. "So, last year we invested in a program called Scrum." Scrum gets its name from the sport of rugby, where individuals work as a team to move the ball up the field. The Scrum management framework provides techniques for teams of people to address complex adaptive problems while pro- ductively and creatively delivering prod- ucts of the highest possible value. Last year, Zeile says the Prefix team set a goal and began the implementation of Scrum into the wide variety of client projects it was involved with. "This management system really helped us to separate the duties required by each member on the project team to ensure a complete and successful outcome. It requires each team member to take responsibility for specific tasks, then to be accountable for completion of each to the rest of the team within a detailed timeframe. When someone requires assistance, these challenges become vis- ible right away, eliminating the wasted time of team members assuming certain tasks have been completed. Basically, we communicate more effectively, catch problems early and get back on track much faster." #2 DON'T BE AFRAID TO DELEGATE For owners of many small- to mid-size businesses, delegating tasks is often dif- ficult to put into practice. Understandably, it is your business and who can do it better than you? Unfortunately, checking over every small detail yourself rather than delegating can waste everyone's valuable time. Zeile explains that responsibilities must be given to qualified employees, trusting that they will perform the tasks well. Without this type of thinking Zeile says there would be no way that Prefix could have experienced the growth it currently enjoys. Empowering employees with the ability to make informed decisions (and mistakes) allows them to gain skills, con- fidence and leadership experience that ultimately benefits the company. "Of course, there always needs to be accountability," Zeile notes. "A big part of our Scrum system of project manage- ment ensures that each team member is accountable for specific steps in the process. So, even if poor decisions and mistakes are made, they become visible much faster. Others can then step in to help create solu- tions quickly, before they become bigger problems. This keeps the team moving in the right direction, yet always promotes carrying your own weight. It has been our experience that delegation creates leaders who aren't afraid to make decisions and get things done." #3 COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY Whether it concerns a customer, vendor or employee, whenever there is a lack of communication, people usually assume the Marketing is another vital part of a company's long-term health. It's all about being top-of-mind with your target customer when the buying time arrives.

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