Several months ago, the AdMonsters Professional Services team started a series on the Three Pillars of Success and outlined how People, Process and Technology must all be present to support and drive your organization forward. While I believe the People pillar is the most important, the Process element should not be overlooked.
When I say process, I’m not necessarily saying you need to be a Six Sigma operation or committed to an Agile or Kaizen methodology – I’m saying you need a documented, repeatable way of doing things. Sure, this is a simplistic approach, but sometimes less is more.
For instance, when a new hire starts with your team, do you have a process flow that explains how a contract is approved and ultimately results in a trafficked ad? This may seem simple, but having that basic documentation in place could save you a significant amount of time as new hires are on-boarded.
To take it a step further, when you selected and implemented your ad serving system, how did you go about it? Ideally, you followed a basic process that may not have been documented but was at least thought through. It may have gone something like:
- Step 1: Recognize a new ad server platform is needed for your organization.
- Step 2: Understand and document core requirements of what you need in a new platform.
- Step 3: Talk to peers (like other Monsters) and do some basic research to see what’s out there. Not just the big names, but also up and comers that may have cool features the others do not.
- Step 4: Create and distribute an RFI/RFP to four or five vendors to see how they stack up against your requirements. For a comprehensive overview of developing an RFP, check out this recent article by aiMatch’s Chris Hanburger.
- Step 5: Down-select to the top two or three, and really evaluate the merits of their solution – extensive demos, use cases, pricing, references, sandbox environment, etc.
- Step 6: Make sure two or three meet your needs and negotiate to make the final determination of what’s best for your organization. It’s worth noting that negotiation is about more than just price. You’ll live with this option for several years, so price is important, but so are all of the other pieces of the relationship.
- Step 7: Implement the new solution (I don’t mean to trivialize this with just one step as it is a very complex and hard thing to do, but that’s a topic for another day.)
However, let’s say you neglected to follow any process and just picked a solution that a peer had recommended. Maybe it’s fantastic for their organization, but if you didn’t evaluate it against your core needs it could be completely wrong for you organization and not even meet your basic needs. Yes, this is an extreme example and of course all of you would evaluate it against your core business needs, but you get the point.
Following some sort of structured process is critical to making sure your business functions smoothly and also has a natural tie in with people and technology. When work is crazy, your people will appreciate having some sort of structure to fall back to or even use to prioritize their work. When technology is evaluated and utilized, it needs to fit within your process (or, your process needs to fit the technology if you want to look at it the other way).
Bottom line, whether or not you chose to recognize it, process plays a critical role within your organization and just a little bit of process can go a long way towards making your (and your team’s) life a lot easier.