8 tips of Cardinal Richelieu

    There is a common misconception that the art of management belongs exclusively to the Newest Time. In fact, art is as old as the world. Manager is one of the oldest professions along with which you yourself know which one. Egyptian slaves would never have built pyramids for the pharaohs if they had not been correctly beaten with sticks. Both European and Eastern (mainly Confucian) traditions left us a lot of wonderful tips. What is the only famous statement of Yeluya Chutsay, chung-shu lin at the court of the first Mongol khans (something like the prime minister): "You can create an empire while riding a horse, but you can’t manage an empire while riding a horse . "

    We decided to conduct a fun experiment. We took the political testament of the notorious Cardinal Richelieu (correctly Richelieu), which is a fairly typical treatise on the topic “How to and How Not to Govern the State” for the 17th century, and transformed it into a manual for managing a small SEO company, web studio or department online advertising.


    Whether it turned out with us or not is up to you.

    The original will is here .

    1. Structure

    "The weakness of a human being requires balance in all things, and that is the foundation of truth."

    The main guarantee of the success of any enterprise is a properly built management structure. In relation to the SEO department, there are 2 types of structures that are explicitly or implicitly used in organizations specializing in SEO: functional and design-functional .

    The functional structure usually develops naturally and takes place in small companies.


    The main minus of the functional structure is that with an increase in the number or rate of implementation of projects, the head ceases to have time to control the work process.

    Design and functionalthe structure involves the allocation, along with the head of the department, of key posts of project managers.


    Obvious advantages of the structure:

    1) the ability for the head of the department to focus on strategic issues, the development of the department,

    2) the ability to conduct high-quality a large number of projects. If in the functional structure a certain conditional “ceiling” is 10-15 projects, then the design and functional “ceiling” is proportional to the number of project managers.

    The downside is that project managers must have, firstly, high qualifications, secondly, high motivation, and thirdly, a high level of responsibility. Finding such specialists is pretty hard.

    2. Division of labor

    “So many disasters occur from the inability of certain to senior posts and to the most important matters, that the sovereigns and participants in the management of their affairs can’t quite have the care that everyone is determined for the positions that are characteristic of him.”

    Any work of the department head should begin with taking two blank sheets and writing out on one of them the names and brief characteristics of their employees, and on the other a list of functions necessary for the department to work effectively.

    A simple magic trick will allow you to connect these two sheets in two-dimensional space in the form of a task separation matrix , for example:
    executor / functionAthos (experienced, smart, w / p: addiction to alcohol)Porthos (reliable, stable, high-end: gluttony)Aramis (cunning, dexterity, w / n: addicted to women)d'Artagnan (ardent, ambitious, inexperienced, w / n: pugnacious)
    project managementX
    link placementX
    research, auditX
    customer acquisitionX
    Web programmingX
    contextual advertisingX
    usability designX
    viral marketingX

    Before us is one of the most common work schemes:

    Athos project manager
    Portos website development
    specialist • Advertising specialist Aramis
    • smartly writing copywriter d'Artagnan

    The combination of characters can be different and is selected based on the specific situation. For example, you can use the following symbols:

    And - performance
    U - participation in the task
    K - monitoring the task
    O - responsibility
    D - providing a report

    The task separation matrix allows you to understand:

    • who does what in the department,
    • which employee is overloaded or vice versa is not loaded with work,
    • to whom it is possible to delegate certain functions,
    • who is responsible for what,
    • who controls whom,

    i.e. to clarify and visualize the authority of all employees of the department.

    3. Reporting

    “Give me only six lines written by the hand of the most honest person, and I will find what you can hang him for.”

    If your company has already survived the growth disease and switched to a design-functional structure, whether you like it or not, you will need a workflow system.

    Internal documents (instructions, templates) will simplify the work of employees and reduce the time for training beginners. Based on reports made in a single format, it is more convenient to make final reports for clients and partners. Finally, it does not hurt to document the analysis of competitors and search engines in the form of analytical documents .

    Project example: create from scratch and conduct one-time site optimization podveskikorolevy.com
    function (task)input informationsourse of informationoutput documentperformerstermconsumers
    royal pendant market researchresearch request (see template 111 )project manager ( Athos )study report (see template 333 )d'Artagnan2-3 daysproject manager ( Athos )
    selection and installation of CMSCMS purchase request (see template 222 )project manager ( Athos )CMS selection report (see template 444 ), CMS installation report (template 555 )Porthos2-3 daysproject manager ( Athos )
    site designrequest for the need to attract a third-party employee (the design proposed by Portos is not pleasant to the client)project manager ( Athos )brief description of a third-party employee (template 666 ), design installation report (template 777 )Charlotte Buxton4-5 daysHead of Division ( Mr. de Treville )
    compilation of the semantic cored'Artagnan study report (see row 1)project manager (Athos)report on the formation of the semantic core (template 888 )Athos (decided to do it himself)2-3 daysproject manager (Athos)
    SEO copywritingAtos report on the formation of the semantic coreproject manager ( Athos )report on the content compiled with the application of the above content (template 999 )d'Artagnan4-5 daysproject manager ( Athos)
    contextual advertisingcontextual advertising request (template 1111 )Head of Division ( Mr. de Treville )report on the promotion (template 1222 )Aramis10-15 daysHead of Division ( Mr. de Treville )
    State of emergency: disclosure of official secret (name of the client)request for internal investigation (template 1333 )Head of Division ( Mr. de Treville )investigation report (template 1444 )Lille Executioner2-3 daysHead of Division (Mr. de Treville)

    4. Planning

    “Reason does not allow him [the people] to be freed from any burdens, for, losing in this case the sign of their submission, the people would forget about their fate and, freed from taxes, would imagine that he is free from obedience” .

    “Month” relaxes, “week” optimizes. In general, a task broken into small parts is more successful than a task outlined by two or three common words.

    You can say: " your task is to kill a mammoth in a month ." And you can say:

    • in the first week, your task is to track the path along which the mammoth walks,
    • in the second - to dig a hole and throw it with brushwood,
    • in the third week I will connect the remaining members of our tribe,
    • And only on the fourth will we all chase after him with stakes and torches until the mammoth falls into the pit.

    5. Saving data

    "The treasury is the heart of the state, and indeed it is the Archimedean weapon, which, when firmly strengthened, provides a way to toss the whole world."

    The central core of the department’s management system, its “treasury”, is an information system , a virtual data warehouse that facilitates the exchange of information, planning and controlling work.

    There are many paid or shareware services and software packages: Teamer , Windows SharePoint Services , Trac, and even 1C: Consolidation . However, they usually require complex configuration.

    Practice shows that simple solutions are more effective (for example, mailing via Google Groups , closed phpBBforum or self-written program).

    When the number of employees reaches, for example, 50, it makes sense to use an internal corporate social network. An internal corporate network will not only increase work efficiency, but also allow you to “let off steam” and communicate in non-working threads.

    6. Risks

    “The strongest state in the world cannot boast that it has reliable peace if it is not able to protect itself at any time from a sudden invasion and from an accidental attack.”

    The most significant risk when conducting SEO work is changing the ranking algorithms by search engines.

    It is useful to think over this and other force majeure in advance, describe them and try to work out measures to minimize it.
    Type of riskImportanceHow to minimize
    Change ranking algorithmVery importantConducting comprehensive site optimization, building up content, creating backup advertising campaigns in Yandex.Direct and Begun systems
    Aggressive actions of competitorsImportantTracking competitors. Use of “white” promotion methods

    7. Motivation of employees

    "My first goal was the greatness of the king, my second goal was the power of the state."

    On the motivation of employees, often working on remote access, we wrote back in our first post on Habrahabr .

    There is a deep misconception that the only way to motivate you can be a cash bonus. Money is good, but more often the ordinary employee is worried about the loyalty of his chosen path . The main task of the head of the department is to convince a promising employee of the right choice. T. about. the employee’s work efficiency is directly proportional to the company's image on the market.

    A person working for a stable and developing company simply does not need any motivation.

    8. Professional growth

    "A sovereign who wants to love to be his subjects must take the main ranks and the first authorities of his power by persons so respectable from the whole world that they can find the reason for his choice in dignity."

    The only criterion for professionalism in the IT field may be knowledge, not experience . The SEO market is subject to rapid changes, new ranking algorithms, new contextual advertising systems, new promotion mechanisms appear every month. A person specializing in search engine optimization can overwhelm all the work of promotion in social networks, for example.

    Hence the conclusion: promotion of an employee through the ranks is possible only if he passes a certain professional "exam". Only when he proves his competence in this field of specialization can he be improved.

    Therefore, in addition to all other papers, the head of the department should also have a special table in which he would mark the progress of each of his employees in a particular area of ​​work, based not on words, but on reports and figures provided by employees.


    Perhaps someone who has preserved school history books in the closet will recall another famous phrase by Richelieu that “people should work like a mule”. In fact, in the original, this phrase reads as follows:

    “People should use donkeys, which, accustomed to packs, deteriorate from long-term rest more than from work, but so that the work was in moderation, and the burden of these animals should be equal to their strength.”

    In other words, Richelieu speaks of a certain system of governance, which could be called “rational cynicism” (by analogy with “rational egoism”). This model assumes the absolute authority of the “king” (department head) and the “nobility” (project managers). Probably, in some ways this model is not perfect, otherwise why would the French have arranged a revolution ...

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