Good Teams, Good Processes
One benefit of being slightly older in the web field is that I've had the chance to work with a lot of different teams. You learn what works well and what doesn't with teams of various sizes. And a key factor that always comes into play is processes.
Processes are a part of work that many folks would rather not think about. The term can sound much too formal, or corporate. The problem is even if you don't think about processes, they exist. Reality is that you have processes, whether you've thought them over and given them attention or not.
Whether you're creating a new product or supporting an existing one, nothing is worse than an undocumented, rogue process. Uncertainty is acceptable and expected when you have a brand new team coming together, or you're entering into a new field or industry, but not when you have a team that's been through a few battles together.
A process does not have to be formal, stuffy, or restrictive. It's simply a recognition of how your team works. Analyzing each process, at least a little, goes a long way towards ensuring your team and your customers are happy. And documenting each process is a necessity, especially as your team grows. Nothing brings comfort and validation for a decision well made to a new team member than a clear indicator that their new employer has got it together.
Julie Zhuo says it well in The Manager’s Manifesto:
Making the best decision is not as important as putting in the right processes to ensure that the best decisions get made.