As an agency, our mentality has always been to evolve our ways of thinking, improve our working practices and deliver more value to our clients. It’s a passion for us, driven by our belief in ethical, sustainable delivery.
Part of this is how we define success- what makes a good project? Examples could be a happy client, a profitable project completed in time, or delivering what was agreed, and at each stage of our journey we’ve prioritised each of these.
Each of the above options bring with them unwanted side effects, though. If you favour delivering an agreed brief, for example, a client might miss out on better ideas, simply because they occurred to the team during a project, not before it. Prioritising the client’s needs is incredibly important, but it also means you must define what a client’s needs are. Should you deliver something they are asking for, or something which will deliver real business value?
We now define success by balancing a triad of needs:
This idea isn’t unique. It’s adapted from an idea discussed by Shore & Warden (2007) in “The Art of Agile Development”, and it resonated with us as a great way to define success and balance different needs. Each is equally important.
Everything we deliver as an agency should have a real value to our client, to be considered successful. We should evaluate any features, content or work ruthlessly, keeping only those which will meet the goals of the business and be worth the time they’ve taken to complete.
For example, software programmes are often created with features which are rarely, or never, used by the end customer. The Standish Group researched this and found that only 20% of features in their sample were used ‘always’ or ‘often’ (The Chaos Report, 2011). By carrying out appropriate user research and testing initial assumptions, we can be a lot surer that our work will deliver value before we’ve spent time building it. This same concept applies to marketing efforts and web design.
We firmly believe that as an agency, we should deliver technically sound products, with the smallest number of bugs possible. By implementing testing practices, regular training and an open, friendly office culture, we can deliver high quality work. This applies to all work we carry out, including marketing and SEO.
This is highly linked to trust, as we know our clients may not be able to scrutinise the work we do for them, especially for technical quality. Our clients trust us with their most precious assets- their brands- and we care about meeting this responsibility. We invest in training and processes which help our staff create their very best work, and testing procedures which quality check this carefully.
As an agency, we value our staff members, and the culture of our office community. We know it’s incredibly important for consistency to have happy workers and a high retention rate. We’ve found, from our experiences, that the key is personal development. We invest greatly in the people who work for us, and in return they get involved in projects, playing a part from the beginning. We’re proud of the passion our team has when they approach their work, and we encourage this positive attitude so that we can produce great results for our clients.
By ensuring our entire team knows of, and understands these definitions, we’re able to strive for ‘success’, and know that we’ll deliver efficient, valuable work to our clients.