There is one real answer to this question – VERY.
Consistency is crucial to several aspects of business. From project management to communications to process and procedure; remaining consistent is a key element of a successful business.
Where consistency matters…
Project Management. Professional project managers already know that remaining consistent is a basic part of the job. But what if you are not technically a project manager? You still have projects to manage and keeping things together is part of an effective project.
- Regular updates. Stick to a schedule when requesting and providing updates to team members, clients, and customers. This lets everyone know when to expect it every time. Ask for updates on a daily or weekly basis based on project size.
- Templates and mirrored formatting. Use the same document template or email formatting when sending updates. This again lets everyone know what to expect and they will get used to seeing it every time along with where to look for specific items when needed.
Communications. Whenever you are communicating with your team, your clients, and your customers keep your email communications consistent.
- As mentioned above, templates and similar formatting keep things clean and clear each time emails are sent.
- Email signatures should be used to keep a consistent look and feel as well as help with brand recognition, networking, and marketing.
Process and Procedure. When documenting or explaining a new process or procedure, keep everything clear.
- One more time, use templates. Documentation should always be crisp to the reader so using the same template will get the readers used to what they will see every time.
- Point of view should be the same throughout the processes. If you are instructing a user through a step-by-step process using the third person point of view, then keep that point of view throughout the instructions. For example, if you are using the word “user” to explain how to do something, do not switch to “you”. This would be changing from the third person to the second person point of view.
- Use similar terms and titles. If you are explaining a new procedure, for example, “Customer Service Representatives should record the call” – do not switch partway through with “Customer Service Workers should then create a note”. Keep the terminology the same so as not to confuse the reader insinuating that it is referring to something different.
Why consistency matters…
- Improves productivity by creating a routine whether written or oral.
- Insures brand recognition especially with logo placement and company name usage.
- Trains everyone involved, including even you, because others will always know what to expect and you will always know what to provide and how to provide it.
- Relays reliability by showing a regular, dependable message.
- Displays responsibility and a detail-oriented character that will come as a relief to those involved.
Do you have other areas of business where consistency is key? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!