People, Products and Process

A friend of mine was the CEO of a very successful software company for a number of years. One day he shared with me his framework for managing the company. It was simple: People, Products and Process. He said he focused his time on those three areas.



My friend told how he met with all of the recruiters and always was available to take any call. On nights and weekends, he would do calls with prospective people. Building the team was the most important thing he said.



Developing new products or buying companies that had quality products took up the second slot of his time. This one sounds as obvious as the first, but we all have seen companies who lose their product focus. Developing existing products and strategically adding new products is critical to any company's success. In software, where disruption is a way of life, product strategy is a fast paced part of everyone's role.



It may surprise you to hear of a CEO who was interested in the mundane processes of a business, yet that was his third focus area. He loved to see data on the processes at work in the business. He would analyze the data, suggest process changes, move people around and monitor some more. Over time, the business became very profitable; no doubt in part because of the process improvements led by my friend.


When I get busy, my mind tends to draw me back to the simple things. Often I find myself writing down these three words: People, Product and Process. They remind me of the main areas of focus for managers at all levels. Perhaps they will help you as well.