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Rules to Better Office Operations - 8 Rules

DevOps is about keeping software healthy by releasing often and inspecting stats each day from the live system.DailyOps or ConsultingOps is about managers keeping a consulting company of engineers working well every day.

  1. Do you make your office a welcoming space for employees and customers?

    Your office reflects your business and provides a consistent experience to both current and potential customers. Much like your house, you usually wouldn't invite guests over if your house isn't clean or organized. The same with your office space, you should make sure everyday that if your customers walked in, at any time they would be impressed by your team's professional appearance.

    You should have "Daily Office Maintenance: Morning and Evening" checklist.

    Below is a sample DailyOps checklist:

    • Ensure your office is open and closed on time as per your advertised business hours. The start time of the first and last time should be in sync with your Google Maps account
    • Ensure your office is clean and tidy. The first person in should do a walk through to check on the evening cleaner
    • Perform a client ready walk through each day. It is all about the experience.

      1. Pretend you are a client walking through the office
      2. Make sure someone is sitting at Reception, ready to welcome clients
      3. TV monitors, Bots, and other featured office gadgets should be turned on and working
      4. Marketing material should be present, available, and neatly arranged, where appropriate
      5. All conference room whiteboards should be clean and clear and conference room tables empty of debris
      6. All conference room cords should be hidden to the best of ability
      7. Conference room chairs and furniture should be arranged neatly
      8. Ensure that everything else in sight would be appropriate to a visiting client.
    • Make sure you follow and improve the procedures - speak to whoever is involved in the DailyOps activity, agree and then update the standard
  2. Do you manage building repair and maintenance?

    You should ensure that any building related issues are attended to, this can include:

    1. Any security or access issues
    2. Any tradespeople or maintenance staff visiting the building
    3. Issues with internet, utilities such as power/water or trash
    4. Any body corporate issues or other localized issues
    5. Contact your financial controller or corporate contact for assistance of to notify them of any issues requiring more detailed attention
  3. Do you remind your team to turn in timesheets?

    Timesheets are essential as they are required to bill clients or to document the work that is done, and record progress against projects. Making sure that timesheets are in on time help keep things running smoothly and prevent major gaps in reporting, billing, or client value.

    See Rules to Better Timesheets.

    1. You should remind your team each week to turn in timesheets as required by the deadline
    2. Remind your team of the benefits of turning in timesheets early
    3. If you find there is someone you have to remind constantly, please follow
  4. Do you ensure your team get relevant communications?

    Communication is key in any business, but what’s most important is that team members are given a voice and encouraged to participate in communications that have an impact on how they work and do business.

    See Rules to Better Communication.

    1. You should ensure that staff know about, respond to, and are included in relevant company communications such as surveys, training, and announcements
    2. Remind your team of communications that require time sensitive follow-ups
  5. Do you know where your staff are (and where they’re supposed to be)?

    It's been said that in order to succeed you have to show up – nowhere is that more true than the workplace. Knowing where your staff are is paramount.

    At the beginning of each day you should:

    1. Review a staffing report – consider a report in Power BI or a similar tool that shows which of your staff are booked for what activities on any given day

    Figure: Green is booked, Black is booked for internal work, and Red is leave

    1. Make updates to staff bookings as required in the source calendars so that the booked in days report is an accurate representation of what clients staff are assigned to. Ensure that any other staffing or service calendars are also updated to accurately reflect the day's planned activities.

    Service Calendar
    Figure: See 4 blue bars. This means they are booked. Not easy eh!

    1. Review your absence calendar. Each business should have a calendar where employees can note any upcoming absences or leave so that it's easy for other team members to know where folks are at any given time.

    Figure: Here are the 2 people on leave

    1. Check who's in the office. Have a look at who's currently in the office and if someone's not present or doesn't have an absence or booking, find out where they are. You can use a tool like SophieBot or other tools to find out who's physically in your office at any time

    Figure: You can use SophieBot to provide a staffing report of who is physically in the office today

    SophieBot booked
    Figure: SSW SophieBot to answer “Who is booked? [ANSWER: 6 people]

    SophieBot free
    Figure: SSW SophieBot to answer “Who is free? [ANSWER: 4 people]

    SophieBot leave
    Figure: SSW SophieBot to answer “Who is on leave? [ANSWER: 2 people]

    1. If staff are missing or otherwise unaccounted for, make sure to take appropriate action to find out where they are and why they haven't been in communication
    2. If you find you are having to constantly remind someone they are missing without the paperwork e.g. on leave with no appointment, WFH with no email, etc. then please follow:
  6. Do you remind your staff to follow the dress code?

    The way you and all members of your team present themselves is a crucial part of creating a good impression for your clients, particularly in their first encounters with you.

    Sometimes people may need a reminder to follow the dress code. If you notice someone is not dressed accordingly:

    1. Speak to them in person or send them a gentle reminder with a link to your dress code. For example; "Hey Bob, I noticed you're wearing blue jeans today and it's a Wednesday. Don't forget we dress our best on a Wednesday because we invite clients in, please avoid wearing those again. Here's the dress code to help you:
    2. If there is someone you need to constantly remind, a great way to get them to remember that is causes you pain is to follow our Do you ask your staff to help you reduce your admin? 🙏🏻 rule to help track it and keep them accountable.
  7. Do you ask your staff to help reducing admin work? 🙏🏻

    A lot of management time is spent chasing people for things like Daily Scrums, wearing the correct attire, and completing their timesheets. Did you know there's an easy way to reduce this admin pain?

    Most people miss doing their everyday admin responsibilities not out of spite, but because it's not on the forefront of their minds. They would likely be more mindful if they knew what it costs the company in admin $$ and the Manager in admin pain to chase them.

    A great way to remind people of this internal cost is to ask them to help reduce the admin tasks.

    There's no harm in reminding people as a one-off, but if you have to do this more than 3 times in a short space of time, it's time to send an email and track it via a tool like SSW Eagle Eye for performance reviews. Doing this gives the behaviour a known consequence which will help reduce the amount of times they do it.

    1. Send them a friendly reminder on Teams e.g. "Hi Bob, Just a reminder to get your Daily Scrum in for today. It's now late :)"
    2. If they continue to forget the same thing send an email with the tag (Save me admin 🙏), which can be tracked via Outlook and SSW Eagle Eye

    Figure: Good example - Use an email to remind people of repeatedly forgotten tasks

  8. Do you continuously learn?

    Technology is a fluid industry, with new tools and techniques being developed all the time. To stay ahead of the curve, it is important to continuously learn and improve your skills. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as attending conferences, reading books, watching videos, and participating in online courses.Companies should encourage their employees to continuously learn by providing them with the resources and opportunities to do so.

    An example of this is SSW's Chewing the Fat. This is a weekly Microsoft Form that is sent out to all employees educating them on a new topic. This is a great way to keep employees up to date with the latest technologies and trends.It is also an opportunity for employees to share their knowledge and ideas to help improve the company.

    ctf email screenshot
    Figure: Chewing The Fat - weekly email and form sent to every SSW Employee

    SSW also gets employees to do at least one induction item per week until there are none left.

    sugarlearning item screenshot
    Figure: Every weeks SSWers are encouraged to learn and improve

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