A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post titled "The Challenges of The Business Guy", which basically details my own, non-technical role within WooThemes.
This means that my daily job doesn't include designing or developing anymore, even though I'm still heavily involved in all of those processes. Part of my job is to make sure that the WooTeam hits strategic aims and more importantly (regardless of us hitting specific goals) that everyone is at least working away in the same direction.
This is something that is admittedly quite challenging when you consider that our team is based remotely and scattered across the globe.
Last week Mark randomly noted (in conversation) that "our (as cofounders) jobs has taken on the role of quality assurance". Even though I immediately agreed with him, I didn't fully grasp the implication of what he said, even though my gut knew this to be the truth.
I'd be lying if I said that I don't spend most of week handling e-mail and being in & around Basecamp, which we use for project management. Following up on stuff that needs to be done, setting up to-do lists & milestones for known projects and sending off exploratory e-mails to future, potential collaborative partners. That's my job. I also know that compared to when we started out, Magnus & Mark too have taken on more & more of these responsibilities as our company has grown.
So questioning why we actually do this and why this has become such a significant part of our jobs, probably gets you closer to what Mark said about quality assurance. I believe that - as cofounders and the initial heart of the business - we via the project management and thus keeping our fingers on the pulse, quality assurance is a beneficial byproduct. In this way, I see ourselves as being the custodians of WooThemes and the quality that we create.
Project management is thus not necessarily about efficiency, productivity or even just remembering to do certain things; it is about not betraying the heart of our business. And therein lies the quality.
If we can ensure that we stick true to the very core of what we do every day, then quality is a natural consequence of that hard work. E-mail & project management to a large extend is tedious and considered to be unproductive (we're not creating anything), but when quality is on the line, we'd better not miss a trick.