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My Thoughts on Scrum

By on Jun 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Our team has a new obsession. Scrum. Originally a working set of processes to deliver better quality software on time, Scrum has now expanded to professional organizations, schools and governments. You can read all about it here. More important, you can see how it works in the graphic below. Scrum has it’s own language. You’ll hear terms like… Product backlog. Sprint. Scrum master. Product owner. …and the list goes on Instead of trying to explain every element of Scrum to you (just buy the book) I wanted to talk about one very specific element of Scrum. Introduction to Velocity Velocity is the total effort a team is capable of in a sprint. In plain English: You can calculate a numeric value of how productive your organization was over a set period of time (known as a Sprint) based on ‘Story Points’ (again, read the book). The idea is that your...

Why Customer Satisfaction is Priority #1 for Growth

By on Jun 10, 2015 | 0 comments

It’s funny how perception changes as your business grows up. In our first year of business, we were obsessed with making our biggest (and only) customer happy. They represented more than 90% of our revenue and we would do whatever it took to make them successful. Need your floors cleaned? We got you covered. Did the barista froth your latte enough on the way in to work? Have no fear we have one of those fancy IKEA frothier for ya to use. Looking back on that first year, this obsession was both our best and worst policy. Why was it the worst policy? Well, that’s pretty simple: It could have put us out of business. A single email that said “we’re going to use a different marketing services vendor” would have done the trick. In fact, a year down the road that client did send an email to that effect. The email said that the entire division was being laid off. Adios,...

Leadership is About Letting Go

By on May 20, 2015 | 0 comments

Recently a friend of mine was having a problem at work. She was receiving a promotion to a new job within the company, but her current boss was not allowing her to start the new job for two months. Without going into the details, there’s a lot of politics involved in this decision. That’s not important to speak about right now. What is important to speak about is leadership. In my opinion, my friends current boss was showing her true colors. Holding my friend hostage in her current job was showing that she was a poor leader. The current boss knew that this is an unbelievable opportunity. That my friend was a perfect person for the new job. But the current boss refused to let my friend leave in less than eight weeks. She demanded that my friend rehire her own position. Meanwhile, my friends new boss was chomping at the bit for her to get started. As I have matured over the years, one of...

Tell me what I need and hurry up already

By on Sep 17, 2014 | 0 comments

Every week I field anywhere between five and 15 sales calls. Folks from all over the country (and sometimes the world!) that are trying to sell me all kinds of things. Off the top of my head, here are the phone calls I have received this week: Search engine marketing software Business intelligence software Marketing automation Telemarketing services and software Fielding all these calls is a distraction; I’m usually in the middle of client work, helping to manage our growing team or reading The Oatmeal when I need a moment to recharge my batteries. These phone calls interrupt all the things I mentioned above. So I finally took the time to put together a cold-call script for the recipient of the call that helps move the conversation along. It goes a little something like this. Step 1: “What are you selling me?” Control the conversation from the get-go: it’s your...

Thoughts on Career Change From a Guy Who’s Never Changed Careers in His Life

By on Sep 2, 2014 | 0 comments

I received an interesting email this morning … A contact I made a few years back was interested in making a career change. The victim: His current advertising career. The opportunity: A job that allowed him to work in product or project management. … he asked me for some advice … “Do you have any advice on how to make a career change and/or anyone in those types of fields/roles I could talk to as well?” It took me a few minutes as I thought on his question: What advice did I have (if any)? After I compiled my thoughts and sent an email response, he thanked me for my time and mentioned the tips were super helpful and I should share them with others.  … which brings us to to this point … I’ve copy/pasted my three tips from that email. In no particular order, they are: Find Similarities & Connect the Dots Discover what type of company...