You have to keep an eye on the health of your business.
Taking care of a business is no different than taking care of your own health, or something you need and use on a regular basis, like your car.
This can look many different ways, but the main components are paying attention to what matters, regularly monitoring certain metrics, and intervening in a proactive way when needed.
When OpenTent started, Sam knew he wanted a roadmap to follow that would guide his actions and help him to make the healthiest decisions for the company. He chose to follow the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS which includes three main focus areas - Vision, People, and Data.
In order to understand each area, you need a Company Scorecard to measure and track the chosen metrics over time.
The first two areas felt easiest to stay in tune with. OpenTent has been mission and vision oriented from the start and the heart of what we do is about the people; both those that we do the work for, and those who do the work.
The data component felt more complicated. Even though we are a data driven company, ensuring we give adequate attention to our own internal dashboards takes time away from creating solutions for clients. Though we were monitoring a few things, we recently felt more urgency in building and implementing a more visible system that everyone in the company could utilize.
And since we had decided on our company theme for 2023, 'Play to Win', we knew we needed to fully understand what 'winning' means for us. To figure that out, we spent some time brainstorming what we would love to measure - what metrics are most important to our company health. We matched that against our budget and team buy-in and looked for the right tool to make it happen.
Once we decided on the right project management tool, we built a scorecard that would tell us leading indicators in 3 different areas on a weekly basis:
- Client Health This is our internal relationship reading. For each portfolio team, we monitor project progress, workflow, and requests made. We check in with teammates about how they feel the client relationship is going and where it stands.
- Teammates Using one of our people operations tools, 15Five, as well as our project management tool, ClickUp, we gather weekly happiness scores from each teammate, and hours logged on tasks. This helps us understand how people are feeling and what their average velocity is.
- Sales & Revenue numbers We log any new leads or sales meetings that happened during the week and look at any subscription changes that have happened or are about to happen. This gives us the pulse on what efforts are needed in Marketing and Sales.
It's vital to be proactive with the Scorecard. If you think about the car metaphor, it's best to address any warning lights that come up right away so that whatever issue is causing the warning light can be taken care of before there is a major issue.
In our case, we review the scorecard weekly at our company wide meeting called 'Tea & Toast'. We see it as a tool to spark conversation if we notice an area that is off our goal. It's not there to micromanage or compare teammates on performance, but rather to create a starting point for things to talk about that can be backed up with data. It can highlight what's working and what needs further attention (just like those warning lights!).
Visibility and transparency are very important to us. Through that lens, we want to ensure that teammates know how the company is doing in real time, not when something has gone wrong that might have been avoided with conversations and openness. We've created a renewed emphasis on looking at our work at the company level where everyone is involved and there is visibility across teams and functions.
We also feel strongly that we have to continue iterating on our scorecard to make sure the metrics are the most useful they can be. We won't keep measuring something if we realize it's not telling us the right information or getting at the actual thing we want to understand.
And again, our people are our greatest source or data. If someone thinks there is a problem, whether that's within a client interaction, project, team, or their own sense of happiness and wellbeing, it's worth discussing. Conversations that bring awareness and insight can make all the difference in our health.
To learn more about OpenTent's way of Working Out Loud, get in touch here!