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The Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams. By Jesse James Garrett, July 09, 2003. The best teams have one important thing in common: their team structure and processes cover a full range of distinct competencies necessary for success. [WebWord]
Jesse James Garrett brings together key components (pillars) to websites that are usable and useful to readers. I highly recommend looking at his findings while addressing the 7 questions to ask before web-site integration. In this note I'll address some key points of Mr. Garrett's article, and a wonderful diagram that sums things up.
It is advocated matching individuals by strengths in each pillar areas, then assign work accordingly. This builds on peoples successes and encourages a more confident group in achieving the goals at hand. In the same vein it provides cross pollination of ideas by employing individuals on cross functional teams.
This diagram demonstrates both the elements of his 9 pillars strategy, but shows the relationships between each pillar. Follow this diagram from the bottom-up left-to-right when using it to put together a team for a web project. Meaning, first complete strategic elements of the project starting with user research, then move to tactical elements. This is a the way the author list these element and is a logical progression to achieve desirable results.
It is very important for the team relationship that each member understands Mr. Garrett's two end-cap items "project management" and "user research" -- these govern the progress of the group. Each connecting shape demonstrates influence on the desired outcome of the next. (i.e. Your site strategy contributes to the success of your content and technical strategy, all strengthened by user research, and contributing to the abstract design.)
This model is just as appropriate for print marketing materials and other corporate communications. Your focus should be building the customer relationship through any communication material they receive, then invite them to take action accordingly. (This goes beyond traditional marketing to an interactive one-to-one connection.)
In your content strategy focus on the readers needs and very little on selling them. Use media communications to help define readers needs, qualify them for specific products, and prepare them for a purchase. Too often we try to make a sale on the first interaction with an individual -- the more you make sure what you offer is right for the individual, the less resistance to purchase you'll receive.
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Jesse James Garrett's is the author of The Elements of User Experience.
Save your people time and effort by packaging work to be easy to pickup at any point by another individual. It's a great time management strategy because employees know where they have been, and understand where they are going in a certain project. It helps them focus on the task at hand.
To practice containment and recovery in process:
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Fire People Who Don't Work. If you'd like to hire people but you can't because you have no open reqs, take a good long look at the people you do have. Are any of your staff prima donnas, "indispensable", or just not doing the work? [Hiring Technical People]
I've worked with several environments who retained toxic people for fear they would do something if fired. In one environment employees were afraid to confront a rather gruff individual for fear he'd crash the software development environment -- it turns out he kept to himself because his manager wouldn't talk to him. Removed the manager and this employee blossomed.
If you want strong employee relationships, then hire slowly, and fire fast.
Every employee in your company should fit your culture, be highly qualified, and clearly present a benefit to your business objectives. If an employee isn't a good fit for your business, you'll just do a disservice to the individual and your company by hiring them.
It's like planting seeds in the wrong soil, you'll never see the bloom and eventually the potential of the seed withers away. In the same analogy, you just can't hire an individual without cultivating them for optimal growth, something I'll discuss in another issue.
On the other hand, if you have an employee who just isn't working out, then encourage them to move on. A weed in your proverbial garden of production. Help that individual find a position that better suits their personality -- and do it quickly. Bad employees poison the work environment.
How do you do this without harming the relationship:
Warning: If these strategies are taken out of context you will create an environment of hostility, "our necks are on the chopping block, waiting for the axe." If you don't completely understand what you are reading, then don't implement it. Post your questions on theCoaching Forum or call me at +1 (877) 207-3798 for an appointment.
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There are over 32 differentiating factors of profitable customers that increase profits in competitive markets. While some companies struggle competitive markets, many are doing better than ever--largely because they know how to target profitable customers with little-known identifiers hidden in their own customer base.
By focusing on customers who produce the most net income for your organization, by definition, you'll create a greater return on your marketing investment. Seek to understand what makes these individuals different, so they keep coming back for more. Profitable customer identifiers are characteristics primarily held by your best customers.
Review monthly profit and loss (P&L) reports that provide a summary of the resultant revenue produced by each customer. Focus on customers in your top ten percent. To document buying related characteristics, ask the following questions:
Stay away from questions that induce negative thoughts or identify areas that you could improve. Every question must help them confirm in their own mind the specific value you provide. Listen carefully to what these customers are saying and verify any assumption you derive from this exercise.
Asking these questions show customers you're interested in them, plus provides valuable information on how to improve your service to them. It's something you must do before the competition because these questions have the potential to solidify a long-term buying relationship. In just a few weeks, you'll know exactly what makes profitable customers different and will be on your way to find more like them.
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Robert Service. "Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Before you grab up the latest customer relationship software, or employee resource planning system; start with the small things today. Relationship building starts with a simple smile and handshake or even a small note saying thank you. Complex strategies and hours of consulting won't bring you any results if you don't have these things.
Too often we are bogged down with hype used to sell us these methods, when you already have the tools you need to improve the business relationships around you. Go over each of the 8 Relationship Realms identifying one thing you can do to improve each. Slowly remove those things blocking the results you desire, and you will build the energy you need to tackle the bigger relationship challenges in your business.
Other simple things that can build business relationships:
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