Episode 5 of the Coder's Block podcast out now

One of the most important things that your company can do early on in its timeline, is to create standards and workflows. Workflows can come into place in many aspects, from how you QA your company to how your front-end team works and deploys their content. To even how you order a pack of pencils if need be. Do you charge the company? Yourself? A mixture of both? And how is that data kept track of. These questions and more as we dive into setting up workflows.

How you do it now

You probably have a dozen different files spread across a hundred different websites being accessed across a hundred different accounts. Something that is very common early on in the startup life cycle. And the longer that runs its course, the harder it will be to untangle later on.

And it's perfectly natural. Multiple people working on multiple projects are bound to get in each others way at some stage and what was going left one moment will end up switching to right. So pay attention and catch it early on.

Dev Workflows

Something that every tech company requires. The process from how an idea goes from paper to production. Some would say this is the most important workflow in a tech company. The following guidelines will hopefully aid you in achieving that.

Keep it simple

There is nothing more tedious than having to follow a 20 page workflow to make a single change to a website. We've all been there at some point, and now being on the other side of that issue, I don't want to make the same mistakes.

Make it flexible

There will be times when certain steps in the process will not be able to be folllowed for various reasons. Whether someone doesn't have the software installed or because of unforseen scenarios. That is going to happen. So your workflows should be made in such a way that they remain flexible to those following them.

Clearly define everything

Nothing worse than seeing gibberish in your workflows. Keywords or terms that only one person knows the meaning too. Keep the verbiage to a minimum or a simplified format. If anyone needs a dictionary to make sense of something, then it's time for a review.

QA Workflows

You need QA on your tech projects, at every stage pretty much. So having a process in place where bugs and fixes can be sent to the appropriate developer in the least amount of time with the least amount of friction is a big plus.

Here is a relatively simple workflow that has worked just fine for us. All persons send requests to a QA lead, which then splits it off into the many hands of QA, whether it be one person or many. Once a task has been reviewed, it goes back to the QA lead, which will set the task to 'ready' or he'll send it right back to the responsible party. At each step of the way

Solve your own problems

The best way to approach this creation process, is to solve your own problems. When you manage your own tasks, what issues do you constantly see recurring. What flow would best benefit you in your day to day work. If you're having that problem, it is safe to assume that others around you are as well.

So use your own flows. You can't expect others to do so if you are unwilling to go through the process yourself. And tweak when required. If you're flows are setup in a way that they are simple and flexible from the beginning making slight alterations along the way should not be a hindrance in any way.

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