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Productivity Project Management Web Development

Running a web team for internet marketing.

Working on the web in a team can be difficult. Sometimes you are required to deliver on large projects, such as a new feature or offer; and the rest of the time, you are doing service delivery; update a page, add a new blog post etc.. How do you reconcile both? What is the best way to run a web team for Internet Marketing today?

Scrum

SCRUM has been around since the Agile Manifesto in 2001. It is a project management technique built around different ceremonies (meetings). The best known of these is the daily standup. A fifteen minute meeting early every day to remove blockers. Another important piece of SCRUM is the concept of a Sprint. A Sprint is where a block of time, usually 2 weeks, is set aside to work through the tasks in the project.

To get the most out of a Sprint all dependencies should be met before starting. The person working on the Sprint should be able to dedicate their time exclusively to the Sprint. This can be difficult in small teams as specialities arise within the team. For example, one of your developers could also be the technical SEO expert. If an issue arises on the website, the expert may have to be pulled out of the Sprint, negating the advantages of running SCRUM.

SCRUM is the best way of efficiently getting a project completed. However, there are not many teams that can lock themselves away for 2 week stretches, especially if the web team reports into a faster paced business unit, like marketing.

Service Queue

So what happens when the marketing team needs to launch their campaign now, not in 2 weeks?

This is where the Service Queue comes in. Tasks are added to the queue and someone on the team is set aside in order to have the capacity to work on the queue. This means that if anything is really urgent it can be worked on straight away.

By combining SCRUM and the service queue, it allows you to give a predictable timeline for projects using SCRUM while the service queue gives you the capability to look after your stakeholders with speed and agility.

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Productivity

Rituals – The key to forming habits and being more productive every day.

January every year is a month of new beginnings and self-improvement. There are many self help books and methodologies out there.

A common theme in a lot of these is habit. So for example there is Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit or there is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

The idea is that if you keep repeating positive traits, they become habits and easy to repeat.

Habits are very powerful and precisely why they are built into many facets of our daily lives. For example, we brush our teeth in the morning and evening. We don’t even think about what we do when driving. It becomes so easy that it requires very little conscious effort.

I have been trying to put these into practice for the last few weeks, but I am ramping it up in January and trying to bring rituals into everything that I do in the hope that they become habits.

This has been a well known strategy for ages. Think of the way scrum has all it’s ceremonies of planning sessions, stand-ups etc..

It doesn’t have to be that structured either. You can have your daily list for example. A ritual around that might be something as simple as making sure it’s up-to-date when you are having your morning cup of tea.

Another example is to be proactive with your calendar. At the start of the week have a ritual of setting yourself in order. (Side-note: Calendars are not just for meetings, block out time for your tasks that you need to complete as well.) It helps if at the start you reward yourself for completing a ritual. For example, if you do your weekly planning, you can watch a funny youtube video.

Ultimately, after a while this will become second nature and you will be completing tasks with having to even think about it.