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12 Ways To Improve the Web Developer & Account Manager Relationship

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12 Ways To Improve the Web Developer & Account Manager Relationship

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Sometimes it seems like we’re from different planets. Developers talk in code (literally), and account people talk in deadlines. But we all have the same end goal. This presentation examines the complicated relationship between these two very different sides of the same team, and will outline several strategies to improve this sometimes-strained relationship.

Sometimes it seems like we’re from different planets. Developers talk in code (literally), and account people talk in deadlines. But we all have the same end goal. This presentation examines the complicated relationship between these two very different sides of the same team, and will outline several strategies to improve this sometimes-strained relationship.

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12 Ways To Improve the Web Developer & Account Manager Relationship

  1. 1. @chrisgetman Can’t We All Just Get Along? 12 Ways to Improve The Developer + Account Manager Relationship
  2. 2. @chrisgetman Who’s here?
  3. 3. @chrisgetman What are we talking about?
  4. 4. @chrisgetman Dev & Accounts • Greater knowledge gap between these teams than others • Greater personality gap between these teams than others • Greater opportunity for improvement
  5. 5. @chrisgetman Communication Personalities Expectations
  6. 6. @chrisgetman Empathize.But first…
  7. 7. @chrisgetman Why did the developer leave the restaurant?
  8. 8. @chrisgetman Because of the table layout!
  9. 9. @chrisgetman How many account managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
  10. 10. @chrisgetman Is it too late to make the bulb neon?
  11. 11. @chrisgetman Same Team, Man. Same Team.
  12. 12. @chrisgetman Same projects.
  13. 13. @chrisgetman Same goals.
  14. 14. @chrisgetman Same team. Different planets?
  15. 15. @chrisgetman AM’s Job • Schedule • Scope • Budget Developer’s Job • Build • Solve • Make Complex = Simple
  16. 16. @chrisgetman The Conflict.
  17. 17. @chrisgetman AM: “The client wants [insert request].” Developer: “That will take 1,800 hours and/or is impossible.” AM: “That’s a terrible solution.” Developer: “You’re a terrible solution.”
  18. 18. @chrisgetman Tips for Developers (How to help a marketer out)
  19. 19. @chrisgetman Don’t be so logical.
  20. 20. @chrisgetman A developer heads to the grocery store with a note from his roommate…
  21. 21. @chrisgetman “Get a loaf of bread, and if they have eggs, get a dozen.”
  22. 22. @chrisgetman The developer comes home with a dozen loaves of bread and says..
  23. 23. @chrisgetman “…they had eggs.”
  24. 24. @chrisgetman
  25. 25. @chrisgetman Sometimes nuance is lost in translation.
  26. 26. @chrisgetman And sometimes AMs don’t give developers enough details to pick up on the nuance.
  27. 27. @chrisgetman So ask the AM: “Is this really what you’re asking for?”
  28. 28. @chrisgetman Empower your AM.
  29. 29. @chrisgetman AM: “The client wants [insert ill-informed request].” Developer: “That will take 1,200 hours and/or is impossible.” AM: “That’s a terrible solution.” Developer: “You’re a terrible solution.” Opportunity (to educate the AM)
  30. 30. @chrisgetman Empathize.
  31. 31. @chrisgetman What are the goals? When is the deadline? What’s the client situation like?
  32. 32. @chrisgetman No. It’s not your job.
  33. 33. @chrisgetman But it will go a long way.
  34. 34. @chrisgetman Tips for Account Managers (How to make your devs happy)
  35. 35. @chrisgetman Empathize.Involve Devs Early
  36. 36. @chrisgetman Q: How early is too early to bring a developer into a project?
  37. 37. @chrisgetman A: It’s never too early.
  38. 38. @chrisgetman “I would love a project I know nothing about dropped in my lap.” -No One Ever
  39. 39. @chrisgetman Advantages of Early Dev Involvement • Better scoping • Ownership from dev • Less friction during project • More face time (not kidding)
  40. 40. @chrisgetman Empathize.Care about how things are made. (Not just how the finished product looks)
  41. 41. @chrisgetman “Just make it do this…”
  42. 42. @chrisgetman If AMs better understood how projects were built, they could: • Add more value upfront • Be more understanding of dev issues • Better forecast and plan
  43. 43. @chrisgetman Empathize.Don’t pass the stress.
  44. 44. @chrisgetman Account managers are stressed.
  45. 45. @chrisgetman All. The. Time.
  46. 46. @chrisgetman Give your team a protected space to do their jobs.
  47. 47. @chrisgetman Empathize.Devs Don’t Know Everything. (And that’s ok.)
  48. 48. @chrisgetman When you ask a dev a question…
  49. 49. @chrisgetman
  50. 50. @chrisgetman Developers are problem solvers.
  51. 51. @chrisgetman Give them time to research. Give them all the details about the issue.
  52. 52. @chrisgetman Empathize.Devs aren’t IT. (Just re-start your computer)
  53. 53. @chrisgetman Seriously. Just re-start it.
  54. 54. @chrisgetman *Pro Tip for Devs Never fix anyone’s computer at the office. Not even once.
  55. 55. @chrisgetman Empathize.Leave them alone.
  56. 56. @chrisgetman Headphones on?
  57. 57. @chrisgetman Leave them alone.
  58. 58. @chrisgetman Leave this dude alone.
  59. 59. @chrisgetman It takes 23 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.* *The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress, Gloria Mark, University of California https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/chi08-mark.pdf
  60. 60. @chrisgetman Do the math.
  61. 61. @chrisgetman 4 Interruptions = 1 Hour Lost
  62. 62. @chrisgetman (I’m looking at you Slack)
  63. 63. @chrisgetman “Your team sent a total of 11,400 messages last week (that's 2,103 more than the week before). Of those, 5% were in channels, 7% were in groups and 88% were direct messages.”
  64. 64. @chrisgetman If you want your project done: • Get the developer some time • Leave them alone • Make everyone else leave them alone • Give them snacks
  65. 65. @chrisgetman Empathize. How to work better together.
  66. 66. @chrisgetman Create a DLA (Department Level Agreement)
  67. 67. @chrisgetman The DLA States • The development team’s expectations of how work should be assigned to them. • The account team’s expectations of how work should be approached. • Ideal collaborative scenarios. • Unfavorable collaborative scenarios.
  68. 68. @chrisgetman Cross Department Presentations (Quarterly)
  69. 69. @chrisgetman The more we know about the other team, the better.
  70. 70. @chrisgetman Dev presents to accounts.
  71. 71. @chrisgetman Accounts presents to dev.
  72. 72. @chrisgetman
  73. 73. @chrisgetman Hang out.
  74. 74. @chrisgetman Talk about non-work things.
  75. 75. @chrisgetman Strive to create real relationships.
  76. 76. @chrisgetman End.

Editor's Notes

  • We have the same goals. We’re on the same projects.
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