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Are Two Pizzas Enough?

2 Pizza TeamsImagine being an executive for one of the largest pizza chains in the world and being invited to a meeting titled “Why Two Pizzas Are Enough”. How would you react? Would you be concerned a few zeroes had been left off? I did a contract role as an agile coach for just such a major pizza chain a few years ago. When it was time to give the executive management team an overview of Agile and Scrum (the specific methodology the company was interested in implementing) I was advised to not call the meeting Agile or Scrum. After asking why I should avoid this I was told that the business was sick and tired of hearing about both Agile and Scrum and they wouldn’t come if they knew what it was about. I used the analogy of two pizza teams to grab their attention and boy did I grab their attention! Every Executive attended the meeting.

In last week’s article “Agile and UX Design: Can they work together?” I mentioned the concept of a two pizza team. In this article I give more definition behind this concept and how it applies to agile approaches.

The two Pizza team terminology was coined by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. You can read more about his concept and how it has become part of the culture at Amazon by reading the Fast Company article “Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos”.

What is the two pizza team analogy? In Scrum, and most Agile methodologies, the team is meant to be a small, cross-functional, empowered team of approximately 5 – 9 people, depending on the project size. Therefore when your team has to work through lunch or late into the evening, as you know you do when you work on a project, the company can feed the team with two pizzas. I.e. Two pizza teams.

There is more accountability in smaller teams and they tend to avoid the issue of social loafing. According to social psychology, social loafing is the phenomenon where individuals tend to put forth less effort when working in a group than when they are working individually or coactively. Small teams in which each member is accountable for specific tasks for the project will avoid this concern and hold each other accountable on a daily basis for the work being produced.

There is, on occasion, a concern raised with the small number of team members when a project may be extremely large and require more than the recommended 5 – 9 person team. In this event, review the project goals and determine a team structure in which multiple Scrum (or whichever agile methodology is being used) can be structured reporting into one Project Manager or Product Owner (whichever role title your project is using). In many projects a quick review of the goals or epics will show a natural delineation into individual teams. These teams should be able to communicate with each other, but limit the communication paths necessary between the teams. In other words, if team A is unable to complete their work because they must first coordinate with additional teams the project will stall. Minimizing communication overhead while still encouraging communication between teams is a key strategy to the success of multiple teams within the same project.

Try the two pizza team concept when your organization on a smaller scale first. Something as simple as a meeting in which a decision or consensus needs to be reached or if there is a larger problem which you are attempting to solve, break it into smaller chunks and assign a small team to each chunk to solve. See how quickly and effectively these small teams can work. Not only will your problem get resolved, your corporate lunch bill will go down.

The Collaborative Economy

A key question for today business is how to turn their brand into a platform. It’s thinking terms of systems platforms for e-commerce, social, search and so on that has transformed the digital landscape. Without what has become massive, internet-scale platforms these businesses would not exist.

It is time for well established companies to view their brand, information, products and services as a potential revenue generating platform.

Implementing a collaborative platform requires the technology that the now established platform players have created – Cloud, Big Data, Mobility, APIs, engaging user experience and scalable platforms.

How can your company directly improve their brand image, monetize collected data, and deliver goods and services more efficiently in a Collaborative Economy? Perficient is working on these opportunities every day and these are exciting times.

5 Signs That The Collaborative Economy Is Going Through Puberty - Many of these platforms are continuously shifting their community experience and business model, learning from one another. Increasingly, the emphasis is shifting from the voice of the company to the voice of the crowd. Established brands are opening up their once vertically integrated value chains and are actively turning products into platforms, often through partnerships. Auto manufacturers worldwide are expanding into car sharing, ride sharing, and have declared themselves to be in the mobility business.

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Posted in Digital, News

Are Devices Personal?

Every day I get “targeted” emails from retailers that are designed to appeal to my personal profile and preferences. Much of the content is driven by search history, browsing patterns, shopping cart contents and the assembled profile that the retailer has created for me. Which is great in theory. I want more relevant experiences that are tailored to my unique needs and interests. However, the reality is that my profile is actually an amalgamation of my entire family. You see, when I get home at the end of the day, my phone, my laptop, and my tablet become public property. My wife and my kids each take their turn and have their own experiences online. Experiences that include, disney princesses, monster trucks, cake decorating and yoga. So now when I get an email from a retailer, it is typically reflecting a diverse set of browsing experiences. For instance, the other day I got an email from Amazon that was promoting a set of jungle gym related products (a rock climbing wall, gymnastic rings, a play tunnel, etc..). From that, I could tell that my wife was thinking about remodeling our play room. To which I replied, “you are not turning our playroom into jungle gym.” Helpful for me, but perhaps not the intended goal of the email campaign.

Targeted Email Campaign

Targeted Email Campaign

So while personalization is becoming more engrained into a variety of web experiences, some of the methods need to be re-evaluated. It is not safe to assume that devices are personal. They can easily be shared and frequently represent a group of users. Therefore, the challenge is for retailers to focus on a personalization model that supports individual interactions vs. broader profiles. This can be achieved by looking at the context of the interaction to understand the intent, mindset and ultimately the needs of the individual user. Only then can personalization become truly personal.

Adobe Summit: Building a Global Digital Marketing Platform

This session had a nice abstract that set some high expectations for a case study.

Creating a dynamic platform to support global digital marketing programs? PwC and USG developed a strategic plan and roadmap to deliver an integrated solution that enables local markets to take advantage of the global investment, from digital asset management, assets and product data, to developing country-specific workflows, while also ensuring brand compliance and consistent analytics and measurement. This scalable, Adobe Marketing Cloud based solution provides USG with the framework to target its marketing and optimize experience based on real-time data. Learn how USG and PwC collaborated to develop a cloud-based platform based on Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Tag Manager, and DAM. In this session: – Learn how starting with a Mobile First mentality drove the experience design – Discuss global analytics dashboards – Explore marketing automation platform integration, and hear how USG is leveraging the platform for their employee intranet This session is for digital marketers.

Data

  • 50 billion connected devices by 202
  • 2X the E7 GDP will double
  • Gartner by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO
  • eMarketer – just under 40% of marketing big data spending will go to software investment

USG is a building manufacturer. They had a large impact in the recent downturn and needed to deal with that plus making changes in how the company dealt with the market.  They had a lot of challenges including an outdated site, outdated technology, no clear user experience, no analytics or decent benchmarks. On top of that they were in the midst of going global

The old site was a bunch of links focused on their products and not much. It had little valuable information.

What did they do?

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Adobe Summit | Laying Out Your Digital Experience Game Plan

As a B2B marketer with a previous organization, I was tasked with consolidation of websites for my division. My CMO set the goal of having a unified brand experience for the entire company and my division was the first to adopt the “one-company” brand.  To provide a bit of context, my organization was a large company that had grown through acquisition. We had 20 websites to consolidate for my division — some of which had not been touched for several years. It’s also hard to admit this, but we had no meaningful plan to effectively engage with our online customers. This is something that’s a big “no-no” in marketing today!  I needed help building a game plan – something that would provide the strategy and technology processes I needed to drive success – but I didn’t know where to find that. Fortunately there are some options for marketers today.

Adobe Summit | Laying Out Your Digital Experience Game PlanAt Adobe Summit this year, the Perficient booth will be focused on building compelling marketing “Game Plans” for both prospects and clients. The goal is to find those key components and critical next steps that clients must take to enhance their digital marketing initiatives – whether they are focused on customer experience or on the technology that glues the experience together.  As a marketer, I find our solution expertise unique. Our in-house digital agency and web content management practice work in concert to help marketing and IT stakeholders work effectively together. We accomplish this by providing these stakeholders with key insights and analysis which supports the creation of digital marketing solutions that enhance customer engagement and drive revenue across all channels and touch points…something I could have used several years ago!

Robert Sumner our WCM practice director said it best, “If marketers want to truly understand who their customers are, what those customers want from the company and how to provide value, aligning their digital marketing strategies with their customer experience management strategies becomes crucial to achieving solid ROI results. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Adobe Summit as the desire to address this evolution is native to Adobe’s approach with its Marketing Cloud solutions, and specifically with their Adobe Experience Manager solution.” Read more here.

If you are at Adobe Summit, I invite you to join us at  booth 208 to help layout your digital experience game plan. We’ll have our experts on hand to demonstrate how we’ve helped our clients to create a more compelling, personalized digital experience across touch points including legacy websites, mobile sites, social networks, customer transactions, and in-person or contact center interactions. Visitors to the booth can learn how best to integrate the right digital marketing tools with traditional web content strategies, including Adobe Experience Manager.

See you in Utah!

Top 5 Interactive Style Guides

When it comes to digital style guides, a giant PDF alone will no longer cut it. They need to be interactive with explanation and assets. It’s also important to make them a tool for use during the creative and development process not just a deliverable at the end. Defining the guide from the beginning will ensure consistency in the initial development and will provide a path and assistance for continuous development.

The following are some the best examples of interactive style guides on the web today:

1. yelp
yelp style guide

The number one example of a digital style guide and asset library.

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Five Ways That Technology Proves Santa is Real

When I was a kid, I knew Santa was real because his reindeer left footprints, he ate all of our cookies, and the wrapping paper was different than mom’s. But as technology advances, so does the quality of evidence that Santa really does exist.

Here are 5 ways to show your kids that Santa is real:

 

He’s real because he sent a message specifically for ME

Magic Santa is an online application that allows you to customize a message from Santa based on your child’s name, age, Christmas wish and personality. It also incorporates family pictures into the message and is completely free. It’s very well done and any child would love to receive one of these messages from the big guy. View an example here.

kaylee

He’s real because I saw him hanging out with his reindeer at the North Pole

ReindeerCam allows you to watch the reindeer in their natural environment as they prepare for the big day. As their caretaker, Santa pops in every now and then to pay them a visit. Follow the link to download the app for iOS, Android and WindowsPhone.

Reindeer Cam

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Posted in Android, Digital, iOS, Mobile, Musings

Turn Your Tablet into a Navigation System with a Mobile Day Pass

I am currently in the middle of the car buying process. The one upgrade that stops me every time is the navigation system. I love the idea of having it integrated into my car, but the $2,000 price tag that often comes with this upgrade seems utterly ridiculous given where we are with technology today.

My mobile phone maps are fantastic and they are updated on a regular basis…for free. The drawback is that the screen is small and it’s not integrated into my dash. I also don’t need wireless service on my tablet because I would only need it occasionally.

Today, AT&T announced a $5 day pass for mobile data service and a $25 prepaid plan for 1GB over three months.

Enter the mini tablet + mobile day pass navigation & entertainment device.navigation

A mini is about the size of an in-dash navigation system. When going on vacation or taking a road-trip, you will be able to pay $5 a day to use mobile on your tablet. The mini will become your navigation device. You will still need to determine a way to mount it on the dash, but I’m sure that solution is coming. Cars in the future may not even include electronic devices, but have a space for you to place your own device.

The mini navi/ent device can be used for maps for mom and dad or streaming Netflix for the kids. It’s the ultimate travel device at a very, very affordable price.

What do you think? Would you participate in the AT&T Day Pass?

The Rebranding of Yahoo!

 

Marissa Mayer has been making headlines across the web for her efforts in trying to turn around the Yahoo! brand. In February a memo was sent to all remote employees telling them to report to work…in an office. In May, the internet was buzzing with the purchase of Tumblr. This month, Marissa Mayer was featured posing for Vogue. The stream of news coming out of Yahoo! headquarters is seemingly endless.

There’s a lot of change happening inside those walls, so it makes sense that there would also be a change in branding. Since it’s founding in the 1990’s, Yahoo! has changed its logo twice, but with Marissa Mayer at the helm, they decided to take a decidedly public approach to their newest logo redesign.
21 days ago, they started using a new logo every day to grow excitement and engagement around their new branding. Sure, this helps to build excitement, but it also doesn’t hurt traffic to their website.

yahoo

 

On to your burning questions:
Will the logo still be purple? Yes.
Will it still have an exclamation point? Yes.
All other questions will be answered on September 5th when they make the big reveal.

Well…almost all questions will be answered, because nobody can ever predict what Marissa Mayer will be up to next.

 

IT Pros: Visualize tech industry news using Pinterest

The title of this post by CIO.com caught my attention immediately this morning:

How IT Pros Can Use Pinterest for Career Growth

Pinterest launched in 2010, and since then I have kept my eyes on its growth and how people are using it for sharing and posting visual content. I never thought that the visual aspect of industry news in the enterprise IT space would take off on this social network, which is mostly known for sharing recipes, crafts and other media that lends itself to compelling images more than the enterprise IT space.

pinterest

Technology infographics on Pinterest

But this post really gives some great reasons why Pinterest makes sense as a place for IT professionals to spend time:

  1. Find and follow influencers – they’ve had 3 years to find their way to the platform. Now there’s on Pinterest, and you should see what they’re up to here, just as you do on Twitter or LinkedIn.
  2. Pin helpful articles and books – you can post an article link and Pinterest will find a related graphic/image in that post to use as the main image.
  3. Find useful infographics – It seems to me that 2013 is the year of the infographic – there’s no shortage of them on Pinterest!
  4. Track information on specific topics – just use Pinterest’s search function to find helpful articles in the area of enterprise IT that interests you most.
  5. Webinars and events - TED Talks is on Pinterest, for example.
  6. Get career and talent search help

 

Read CIO.com’s post here.