Interview with Narek Amirkhanyan, COO at Hexact
On an occasion Hexact announced that it is known for updating its products on a weekly basis. What is the purpose?
We give our customers better opportunities to work more, do better business and get more results. By launching updates every week, we make our product more useful. Stability and consistency in innovation are models for our business development. If you get weaker at any point, you will weaken the business.
Let’s talk about user feedback? How do Customers React?
Very well. The customer looks forward to our emails every week to get acquainted with new opportunities of that week. We follow their feedback, consider their suggestions and take them into account. Many of the tools that we add are developed as suggested by our customers. That is to say, we improve our products together with our customers.
Are there update-free weeks?
No, since we launched the sale of our products, we have had news and updates every week. Consistency is crucial in this regard.
How did this become possible for your company?
The key point is to organize the work properly: everyone knows what task he/she is working on, and what needs to be done during any given week. Also, our stand-up meetings (daily discussions) smooth the process. Every morning, with the entire team present we discuss what we should do and decide the priorities for the upcoming days. It is important to have a precise distribution of tasks and priorities, everyone should be in his/her place. We do not have free riders.
Also, issues are being raised that can develop into discussions. Traditionally we have longer meetings on Fridays, as this is the day for our more detailed discussions. We move forward well, as everyone is an expert in their field. You should not tell anyone what to do: be it a CEO, Operations Manager, Software developer or another specialist. The management model where you hire a specialist and try to tell him how to do their job is senseless and inefficient.
Is it enough? Is it enough to build a good team and always keep them in line for continuous product development?
By the way, many people think that IT is developers only, but coding is only a part of IT. Besides them, there are marketing experts who “package” the product to present it to the customers in a proper way, and customer support specialists, who answer customers’ questions 24/7 and provide them with guidelines, there are also managers who organize the work correctly.
Can this business development model be easily applied to other companies?
Of course, it can. It leads to innovation, because when you're trying to give your customers a new tool every week, you should be able to learn something new every week. This applies to the entire company. When you are constantly learning some new things, you become a better specialist. In order to move forward using this model, the startups need to know what they're giving their customers and where they are going.
What should we know when moving forward with this model?
For startups, there is naturally an ultimate goal in the form of a vision, and it is clear that it is far away. You should know what you are doing this week,next week, every week to reach that vision. If you do not have your own plan and ideas, it is not certain that you will achieve your ultimate goal and turn your vision into reality.
Also, you need to have a clear understanding of who is who in your team; the growth opportunities for each of them. You must clearly understand the advantages and position of your company in the market.
One of the key factors is how well-organized you are. Companies like Apple and Microsoft, for example, would never reach this level, if they weren't well-organized. The secret to success is going into the details and digging deeper, it’s all about the “unbearable” level of organization.
Isn't it difficult to live in such a mode and keep the team?
The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.