How to pass the baton between teams in your startup

Some tasks may, at a certain step of a process, require collaboration with other teams/processes. Some other times, a single process generates many other secondary tasks to a point you may feel like you’re losing control. Don’t worry about it, though, you’re not the only one.

For starters, let’s look at a few common situations in which teams need to have an efficient collaboration:

  • Closing a sale: Your sales team just closed a new deal. What needs to be done next?
    • Ask the financial team to approve the new customer’s credit limit;
    • Ask the operations/logistics team to pack and deliver the product the customer bought.
  • Taking care of a support ticket: A customer just created a ticket complaining that something isn’t working properly.
    • You find out that the reported situation was actually a bug, so you report it to the tech support team;
    • The tech support team analyses the bug and sends it over to the development team so they can fix it ASAP.
  • Hiring a new person: You’ve just hired a new team member, now you need to:
    • Ask the IT team to create the new team member’s email account and intranet access;
    • Check with the HR department if all contracts were properly signed;
    • Let the procurement department know they need to buy a new desk, chair and computer.

At any of these situations (and many, many others), if you were in a position that demanded that you improved your team’s execution leve, you’ve probably wondered:

  • How can I properly share these tasks?
  • How can I do it while avoiding rework and/or making the team fill the same information 2 or 3 times?
  • How can I keep track of all these “sub-tasks” we’ve shared with other teams?
  • Which tool can I use to be more efficient and automate this process?

Passing the baton: how to do it properly

The first step is creating a structured process that supports the necessary integration to share these tasks. Avoid relying on fragile emails threads or spreadsheets: not only do they create a lot of rework but also put you at a high risk of making mistakes.

What’s even worse about these flawed control systems is that they don’t allow you to track how these ‘connected’ requests are doing. Ok, so how can you do that? There are a few valid options:

  • Use a simple form (This is still a weak control system but it’s a step up from email threads and spreadsheets);
  • Use a shared spreadsheet (Also better but it’s still prone to mistake if more than one person updates the spreadsheet at the same time);
  • Use a task management tool (We’re getting there, this is much better. The only consideration is that you’ll need to take care of how people add data to it because these tools don’t have start forms with field validations);
  • Create a workflow (If you have a rather large budget you can customize your own ERP or acquire a BPM specific software to create and run these integrated workflows);
  • The best and cheaper option: Run your processes on Pipefy, a simple and intuitive process management tool that allows you to integrate your processes in a few seconds with an amazing feature called connections!

Why should you use Pipefy for passing the baton?

  • No rework: After you’ve set up a connection, all you have to do is click a button to create a connected card and all the information on the ‘parent’ card will be available on the ‘child card’, easily shareable among teams in seconds;
  • Easy to track: Connected cards are ‘related’ to each other, you can access the child’s info on the parent and vice-versa;
  • Add validation rules: You can establish that, to finish the ‘parent’ task all of its ‘child’ tasks must be completed, for example.

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Written by Alessio Alionço, Tech Entrepreneur | 5+ Years Product Management | Founder & CEO of Pipefy, founder of Acessozero (acquired) | An addicted on technology, books and sports.