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Customizing Your Process

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Customizing Your Process

  1. 1. Tom Walsham / @tomwalsham - - Oct 3rd, 2015 Lessons learned from customizing process through agency growth from 15-60 employees Scaling process
  2. 2. Tom Walsham Director of Product The Working Group @tomwalsham 25 Years writing Code 15 Years working in Online / Tech 10 Starts annually with TWG clients WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO THIS GUY? ARE THE AFTER-SESSION BEERS STARTING SOON?
  3. 3. 01 A Framework for Process
  4. 4. A MOTLEY CREW @tomwalsham Product Mgr (1) Developer (10) Designer (0) Other (4) TWG - 2012 : 15 Employees
  5. 5. Everything Was Awesome (or so it seemed) THIS IS AN ACTUAL PHOTO OF THE OLD TWG OFFICE @tomwalsham
  6. 6. THE DEVELOPERS ARE NOT TINY HUMANS @tomwalsham TWG - 2015 : 65678 Employees Product Mgr (6) Developer (40) Designer (6) Other (16)
  7. 7. REALITY BITES @tomwalsham “Nice Problems To Have” (with hindsight)
  8. 8. WHY ARE WE ALL HERE? WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Predictability The purpose of process Quality Productivity LongevityProfitabilityVersatility Client happiness, studio cashflow, margin, all stem from this If you measure it, you will improve it. A process of KPIs for Quality will produce better output A strong development and production process enables faster execution. Understanding clients in a long-term account view alters approach Combining predictability and planning, project scope can be managed to improve profit Providing the cornerstone for growth, and adapting to changing market conditions 01 02 03 04 05 06
  9. 9. Estimation As close to reality as possible given little info Evolve QA Implementation of QA systems & team Sprint zero Formalized discovery process & documents Resourcing A better dovetailing to improve margin Results Driven Creation of quality assurance as a discipline Toolchain Standardizing tools to reduce friction Unicorn riding Harnessing unicorns to create rainbowsProcess Milestones PREDICTABILITY QUALITY VERSATILITY PROFITABILITY LONGEVITY PRODUCTIVITY AWESOMESAUCE LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER
  10. 10. 02 Learning to Walk
  11. 11. [Do] Read Awesome Books [Don’t] Get your process from a book ACQUIRE THE PROCESS EQUIVALENT OF ‘STREET SMARTS’ @tomwalsham
  12. 12. I will tell you that our system is broken “ HE ONLY SOUNDS SMART OUT OF CONTEXT - Donald Trump @tomwalsham
  13. 13. WE’LL ASK FOR ESTIMATES, THEN TREAT THEM AS DEADLINES! @tomwalsham Predictability : Estimation If developers think in terms of hours, let them estimate in hoursAvoid Abstractions Always be improving the process. Estimation is a fine art You can always discount it later, but don’t lie to yourself internally Do Retrospectives Add It All Up
  14. 14. WE WERE A DEVELOPMENT SHOP WITH NO QA FOR 10 YEARS. HORRIFYING @tomwalsham Quality : Evolve QA Dedicate 2 days of Sprint to end-end testing Developer Peer Review of stories Effective QA is expensive.
 Inadequate QA is even more expensive Small QA team ‘Parachute’ in pre- release Named QA resource in client-facing budgets Full lifecycle QA team member from Planning -> Release
  15. 15. AVOID THE SHINY THINGS @tomwalsham Productivity : Toolchain Standardize Your Toolchain
  16. 16. NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH PATIENT ZERO @tomwalsham Versatility : Sprint Zero Just. Enough. Design.
  17. 17. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHANGE YOUR GLASSES. BLURRED TO PROTECT TOP SECRET THINGS @tomwalsham Profitability : Resourcing 2013-2015 2015-???? Future Resource Planning Multiple Projects Per Person Integrated Vacation Tracking Day-Level Tracking Pivot View per Project Weekly Resourcing Request / Approval ProcessNo Project-level Rollups Failed around 25 resources Will need refactor beyond 100Only 75% accurate
  18. 18. Before long, people get very confused that the process is the content “ UBIQUITOUS INSPIRATIONAL STEVE JOBS QUOTE - Steve Jobs @tomwalsham
  19. 19. I HOPE THE LITTLE ANIMATED GIF WILL PLAY IN KEYNOTE @tomwalsham Longevity : Results Driven Projects Under Construction
  20. 20. Merely measuring something has an uncanny tendency to improve it “ TECHNICALLY THIS QUOTE IS A RIPOFF FROM LORD KELVIN’S 150 YEARS PRIOR - Paul Graham @tomwalsham
  21. 21. 03 Do It Yourself
  22. 22. WHAT A CHEAP TRICK. REUSING THE SAME SLIDE. LAZY. Predictability The purpose of process Quality Productivity Longevity Profitability Versatility Client happiness, studio cashflow, margin, all stem from this If you measure it, you will improve it. A process of KPIs for Quality will produce better output A strong development and production process enables faster execution. Understanding clients in a long-term account view alters approach Combining predictability and planning, project scope can be managed to improve profit Providing the cornerstone for growth, and adapting to changing market conditions 01 02 03 04 05 06
  23. 23. Business Dev Scheduling Estimation Resourcing Hiring Production Design Process Toolchain Communication THE LEGOS OF AN STUDIO @tomwalsham Documentation Quality Assurance Support Account Mgmt Career Growth Marketing Contracts Human Resources Handoff
  24. 24. 01 02 03 Target small wins. Review. Repeat. OH SHIT! I HAVEN’T BEEN LISTENING. WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? @tomwalsham Sketch feasible Process Identify Target Goal Select Discipline
  25. 25. Thanks! @tomwalsham / @twg / FITC Spotlight Process 2015

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