Blog Fundamentals

5 Processes Every Startup Needs to Scale Sustainably

Learn about the processes you’ll need to retain your best people in this excerpt from The Startup Process Playbook.

Ben Jackson, November 5, 2018

Photo credit: Mikito Tateisi

Early-stage startups need to move fast, and with so much going on, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working hard instead of smart. But to maintain their momentum, successful teams need to develop a set of processes to help people succeed:

  1. They set and measure clear goals.
  2. They regularly ask for employee feedback.
  3. They hire the right people for the right jobs.
  4. They set new hires up for success.
  5. They make it easy for people to get answers.

If you don’t have all 5, you’ll want to get them in place before moving on to higher-level problems like career development or management training.

The Essentials

Goals & Metrics

How do your people decide what to work on every morning? If your team can’t agree on what’s important, they’ll never be able to work together to achieve it.

Employee Feedback

How well do you understand what’s going on with your people? If you don’t have visibility into their challenges and frustrations, you’ll never be able to fix them.


How do you decide what to look for when hiring? If you don’t know what you need for each role, your team will never be able to spot the right person, let alone convince them to join.


How do you make sure new people have everything they need to be successful? Even if you hire self-starters, if you leave them to sink or swim on their own, most will end up sinking.

Knowledge Management

Where do people go when they’re blocked by an open question? If the answer is always “a coworker”, your most valuable people will spend half their time answering FAQs.