The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
398: How to Use Documentation to Get the Right Things Done in a Remote Business
Mar 22, 2019
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to use documentation to get the right things done in a remote business.

For your startup to run smoothly with no hiccups, it is crucial to document all your processes and have them followed by your team members. The importance of documentation is even more crucial in fully remote companies, as a lot can go wrong when everyone is not physically present.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on why documentation of your process is super important, best practices and things to avoid when running a remote business and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About the topic of today’s episode

00:35 Why this topic was chosen.

01:26 What inspired Steli to come up with this topic.

02:24 Best practices and things to avoid when running a remote business.

03:22 How FYI is solving a huge problem for remote companies

03:36 Why becoming disciplined in your writing efforts is a good idea.

05:50 How companies sometimes make the mistakes of coming up with different versions of the same document.

07:54 The importance of having rules in your organization.

08:36 Why you should make your rules simple to follow.

10:14 The importance of having a philosophy in your business.

3 Key Points:

It’s very rarely the tool, but the humans and how they use those tools.
The more complex the rules are, the less likely people are going to follow them
In a remote company, you need to get really good at documentation.


Steli: Hey everybody. This is Steli Efti.


Hiten: And this is Hiten Shah. Today on The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about how to manage process and documentation at a remote team inspired by the FYI twitter account 'cause that's what Steli said this is about.


Steli: Yeah.


Hiten: Which is one of my businesses. And the twitter account is @usefyi in case you want to follow along. And what we've been doing is we've been talking a lot about documents, document tools as well as productivity. And then I think one of people's favorite topics today which is remote work and how to do it well. So I think Steli and I have a lot of thoughts on this considering our businesses are remote as well as we have faced a lot of these kind of challenges in the past with doing this right, doing this wrong etc. So what's on your mind? What inspired you? I know what inspired you which was our Twitter account and all the sharing we've been doing. We're committed to sharing more and more now. But what really is on your mind about this that you think people need to hear?


Steli: Yeah, I get asked often, "What tools do I use? What tools does my team use to be productive and aligned as a fully remote company, fully distributed company?" And I often find myself going back to some of the basic principles that we share so often Hiten which are that yes, I have some tools I use, and I have tools that I can recommend, but it's very rarely the tools, right? It's always the humans and how they use those tools that really make a difference. And so I oftentimes find myself just sharing with people certain principles on how we communicate as a remote company and how we think about certain things. Now, one of the biggest problems that ... So I thought it will be fun for us to go back and forth, ping pong a little bit on this episode and just share some best practices or mistakes to avoid for people that are thinking about organizing and managing their remote company especially from a point of view in terms of how do we organize our different projects? How do we organize our work? How do we share information online? And since I've been following the FYI twitter account, you guys post all this kind of super neat insights in document sharing software and what comp...

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