Minimum Viable People Management

Written on 2023-09-19 • conversation

This post outlines some best practices I have come across over my years managing various small groups of people. The goal is to always have clarity and the least amount of process necessary to not question basic truths. Please read it as a look into what I found works well, and then make it your own.


  • What is the single source of truth for Job descriptions?
    • This can be a simple Notion database.
  • What is the single source of truth for hiring managers to find and follow up on candidates?
    • This can be one Notion board. I’ve used at least 5 different tools that claim to handle this, and there is always one annoying thing you can’t do that you really need.
  • What does the interview process look like?
    • F.e. Step 1: culture screening, Step 2: subject matter interview, Step 3: test task, Step 4: proposal?
  • Who communicates the steps to candidates?
    • This works best if it is done several times: create a Notion page that explains the steps, link to it in the job ad, then link to it again in every e-mail after that.
  • What will my salary package contain?
    • Again, creating a super simple Notion page that outlines salary and benefits, that you can share with the candidate, can be enough. Think: salary, hardware, software, healthcare…


  • When do you give access to all tools? Which tools? And who does this?
    • I’ve found that a simple Notion template with a checklist works really really well. Takes 5 minutes to think about and set up, and it can be improved easily every time you forget something.
  • What is the experience on the first day?
    • “Do I have access to all hardware and software?”
    • “How am I supposed to take care of my hardware and software? Are there any safety best practices?”
  • The first week?
    • “Do I know where to find information, or who to talk to?”
  • And the first month?
    • “Did I meet everyone who is relevant to my job?”
    • “Am I doing a good job?”

Growth & Time At Work

  • Who creates career tracks? Who communicates how steps on this track are evaluated?
    • “Am I on the right track to improve myself?”
    • “Am I valuable to the company?”
    • “When will you decide if I can stay, or if it is better to part ways?”
  • What happens when someone is sick?
    • “What is legally required?”
    • “What should I communicate? And to who?”
  • What happens when someone wants to take a vacation?
    • “How long ahead should I plan it?”
    • “How long can I take a vacation?”
    • “Do I have to take all vacation days?”


  • Who plans the exit interview?
    • In case of a valued employee who decides to leave: how do you celebrate their tenure with the team?
  • Who executes the exit interview?
  • When do you remove access to all tools? Who does this?

I’ve found that teams will benefit from implementing these basics first. Of course, there is far more to managing people than just this checklist. But if you didn’t know where to start, now you do!

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