Can you deal with these extreme expectations?
The good news? Nowadays there are tremendous tools and technologies in the digital domain to anticipate these extreme expectations. However, at Us Media, we are convinced that technology is merely a hygiene factor. More important: the new reality requires a new approach towards implementing digital strategies.
In this new approach, organizations should not hop from project to project with their digital production agencies. Rather, they should embark on a joint journey without exactly knowing tomorrow’s challenges. They should continuously be eager to experiment, looking beyond the next curve and venture into new areas. In fact, they should always be ‘in beta’. We believe there is no viable alternative, now that long term strategies are obsolete by the time they are fully implemented.
“ The question is: can you deal with these extreme expectations? ”
Us Media feels perfectly at home in this new reality. Be assured: our professionals will bring you top notch digital media. But more important: we love to commit ourselves in a radical way to our clients’ success rather than just hopping from project to project. That requires ultimate transparency, entrepreneurship and empathy in your business. It requires connecting your success with our success which may even translate into sharing financial risk and reward on your digital strategies.
Interested in how this approach may help you deal with the new reality? Call us. We have great coffee too.
We prefer face to face communication over email. Why? We all know the dreaded inbox, basically a todo list created by others. Facilitating periodic iteration meetings generates mutual trust and makes working on a project much more fun and thereby more effective.
This approach helps us to get our work done and deliver quality projects while it focuses on creating value as soon as possible in close cooperation with the entire team. Agile encourages to work in highly motivated and energized teams, making visible what otherwise would be kept hidden and to talk with each other about short term targets instead of long term maybes.
“ “We believe in continuously – and quickly – responding to change.” ”
The entire Us Media office is designed around Agile since 2003. We use stand-up meeting places, large kanban/project boards and embrace visual management in an open and transparent environment. We also created Waypoint as an internal tool to jot down the user stories, schedule resources, plan releases and monitor progress and budgets. Over the years the product matured into what it is today: a mature agile tool, available as a standalone SAAS service.
Stand-up meeting places
Meetings are useful but too many meetings are a pain and considered to be overhead. That doesn't mean we don't have the need to talk, brainstorm and discuss designs, solutions and ideas; we like to do meetings differently.
We found that a standup meeting room is absolutely perfect to keep meetings short, to the point and energized. When we introduced the stand up meeting room in the office it was received with skepticism, but, nowadays, we can firmly state that it is the most used meeting room in our office.
It is actually quite funny to see how the involvement of people changes between normal and stand up meetings; everybody participates far more actively when they are standing.
Large kanban/project boards
We use large and very visible kanban boards to communicate both progress and the thought process in a project to our teams. These boards facilitate collective knowledge of the well-being of a project; how are we progressing and what is everyone working on. Daily stand-ups in front of the kanban boards stimulate communication and teamwork.
To make it even better we split our board in two halves. One half of the board is reserved to facilitate the process: cards move from To do, passing In Progress and QA lanes, towards Done. The other half facilitates inspiration and discussion: this part functions as a mood board to communicate the project visually, i.e. what it is that we are creating.
We started with a simple corkboard on the wall and iterated to a far better looking solution. We use a combination of doors, cork and felt to make it a beautiful and unique experience. We created our boards together with Dedato and - we are not trying to brag - we are very fond of the result.
Embrace Visual Management
Full digital systems are like information fridges (you only know what is inside when you open it). Our mantra is no information hiding. To help us get everything in plain sight we use, next to the large kanban boards, screens that visualise the health, the scope and the budget of the project in real time. Automatic build servers show us when something fails and we fully automated our deployment to live servers.
Visual management is not only in screens and boards. We also embrace visual management by adopting an open workspace and meeting rooms. A project can get ill overnight, beyond your control or influence. This is why it is important to always know and understand the state of a project and make the actual state visible to the team as soon as possible.
- Digital concepting
- UX design
- Responsive design
- Web development
- Mobile development
- Product development
- Lean & agile
- Digital strategy
- Cloud deployment