Stop firefighting

I’m Baz and my company EchoDek is amazing at designing and delivering software that saves you time and money.

Over the last few years, I’ve learnt a few valuable lessons about managing a software business.

And the biggest is that you have to stop fire-fighting.

Every day, emails would come flying in that needed my urgent attention. I would have to drop what I was doing, deal with this, then, possibly hours later, return to my plan.

The customers were happy. Because as soon as something happened, they knew that I would be on it straight away.

Well they seemed happy. But I knew things could be better. These urgent incidents shouldn’t be happening in the first place. I’ve got important things to do – things that will benefit those customers. Yet I’m getting drawn in to urgent things, things that are hurting the customer but will be forgotten about in two weeks’ time.

So I had to set a plan in place to stop the fire-fighting.

It meant getting a system ready so when stuff came in we could decide if it was urgent or not. It meant getting a system in place so as stuff was done, we reviewed it three times, so it was less likely to cause a problem down the line. It meant getting a system in place so that I had time that was for moving stuff forwards, no matter what fires were burning elsewhere.

Believe me, it isn’t easy and the job is nowhere near finished. But putting those systems in place is thoroughly worth it. I’m more relaxed, my team knows what’s going on and my customers are feeling the benefit.