As I have worked tirelessly to flesh out plans for World Domination, I have been forced to work and participate in what others have termed the real world. I hate the real world, it really is not much fun. I must admit, though, that many of the ideas that you read here have a basis in what happens there. Today’s lesson is no different.
Every position in the corporate world is given a particular segment of work to accomplish. As work is being accomplished and pushed out of the queue, new work is being pushed in. Your finished work is becoming new work for someone else, and so on. As this process continues, it becomes obvious rather quickly, that there needs to be some sort of organization as well as a great deal of communication.
Usually, organization will work itself out, sometimes requiring a push here and there, but communication never seems to be handled properly. There are many different forms of communication, in person, email, IM, forms, software and even the ever so helpful documentation. Every one of these forms has inherent flaws. Either you cannot be spread out, or not enough detail, or too tedious. The list can really go on and on.
As the Evil Overlord you need to always know what is going on with your organization. You do not always need to know the nitty-gritty details, although sometimes you might. Meaning, of course, that you need information reported to you in a dynamic fashion. How do we do this?
First and foremost, you need to establish a procedure. Each level in the organization needs to report specific information in specific directions. Sometimes this information is identical, sometimes it is tailored, but it should all be entered into the same ultimate system to allow for your audit drill downs, and quick summaries. Multiple systems become unwanted baggage, and will quickly become ignored by your subordinates.
For team communications, in person, email, IM, and simple documentation all can work. Simply make sure this information is captured and entered (email and IM can be connected to a system and automated.) Moving from one team to another may require documentation but should happen in the same system. As each task, project and bug is finished, the single application is noted. Making it simple for anyone at anytime to quickly see what is being worked on, how much has been completed, where hang-ups are occurring, who to get rid of, who to keep, and most importantly for you the Evil Overlord, who are your potential back-stabbers.
Communication is critical. Your success or failure is tightly coupled with this simple, yet crucial, concept.