Edit on GitHub

Tools, policies and processes

Project teams should be free to do what they need to do to get the job done.

That’s our primary aim, but in an agency we need to have some standard practices that hold us together, as well as the freedoms to work how we need to so that we can deliver great work for our clients.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s a company-wide standard:

Company-wide processes and policies

Company-wide tools

  • Discipline-specific software, tools and standards- eg development environments
  • Reporting standards and tools - eg report cards (currently internal only)
  • Our reporting dashboard tool - Geckoboards
  • Our time recording tool - Harvest
  • Our forecasting tool - Forecast
  • Our instant communication tool - Slack
  • Business systems - Macs, Google Drive, email etc

If the company-wide standard tool or process isn’t working as well as you think it could or you think there’s a better way, get a guild together and recommend a better way for consideration.

Clients on Slack

We've found Slack to be an excellent internal communication tool and also use it with clients as an additional communication method whilst we're working on their projects.

There are a few things we make clear to our clients:

  • It’s a great way for both of us at getting quick answers to each other's questions, we'll be able to post updates and when applicable hold short, effective conversations.
  • It's not a replacement for Basecamp (but it can be for email). We'll still send all important communication via Basecamp, and we'll still use all of our existing tools for recording tasks.
  • We've achieved a great balance of being responsive whilst still allowing our team to focus on their work. Slack doesn’t promise any faster response times than we're already able to deliver via other communication means.
  • Likewise, we're not asking clients to be any more available to us than you already are.

And there are a few things we expect our employees to be aware of:

  • We always record decisions / outcomes of conversations in Basecamp so there’s a single place of record.
  • Client slack channels use the naming protocol “people-[clientname]” or “people-[clientname]-[personname]”
  • Client slack channels are always private channels
  • We only invite the necessary client-facing team members to the channel
  • We always brief the client on how we use Slack for client service when we set them up