For the last eight years, Agile has been the buzz of every company in the IT industry. We can’t go a day without hearing Agile this, Agile development that. We have consulting companies created around Agile practices and businesses trying to ditch their traditional waterfall processes.Read More
Has anyone at your company ever asked you to refer them to a friend or past colleague for a business opportunity? It sounds like a great idea and you want to help, but deep down you’re dreading it. Perhaps you don’t know what to do? Or if it will be mutually-beneficial? Maybe you’d rather spontaneously combust than navigate a potentially awkward situation?
Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain: learning how to connect people in your network is a valuable skill that every professional needs to have in their toolkit. The relationships you’ve built with friends and former colleagues over the years can help you establish credibility, give referrals that generate business, and even advance your own professional development and career opportunities.
Admittedly, making introductions comes naturally to me. It’s part of my job. But a recent encounter with a colleague who needed advice on approaching contacts made me realize that not everyone is as comfortable as I am. It’s time that we change that.
If you’re ready to conquer the art of the introduction once and for all, here are 4 ways to do it without feeling awkward:Read More
Scrum’s framework lends itself to high-quality solutions, but many loyalists need clarification on how to address that goal in the daily use of Agile methodologies.
In Part 1 of this blog, I explained two key ways to prioritize quality through Agile Scrum:
1. Use a cross-functional Scrum team to reduce external dependencies.
2. A Development should have a Definition of Done (DoD) so they know when an increment is in fact “done”.
Marketers are more obsessed with digital analytics than ever before. After all, we need to be. How else can we prove ROI and justify spend? We need data to prove the value of our programs and monitor what’s working and not working.
But have we marketers gotten too focused on data at the expense of our core creative and strategic marketing principles? My humble opinion is.... “Yes.”Read More
Whether you’re a seasoned digital strategist or just dipping your toes into A/B testing, you’ve likely come to love the optimization benefits that testing tools provide. In fact, I’d even say that a solid testing program is the key to successful digital marketing and strategic site improvements. It drives better business decisions by helping to decide where your dollars will have the highest impact.
That’s why you should use these critical tips when planning your testing roadmap to get the most exciting, high-impact results:Read More
Heard of the Scrum framework? It's exceedingly popular for its unmatched success in solving complex software development problems. Scrum, however, only implies the need for high-quality solutions and doesn’t actually suggest how quality should be addressed. Here’s my take on it:
A Scrum implementation focused on continual quality and technical excellence is more likely to succeed than one that isn’t, and quality is everybody’s responsibility.Read More
Lead generation isn’t a new concept. It’s a popular and over-used term describing how businesses use aligned marketing and sales strategies to attract new leads. While many companies today have some form of lead gen in place, there are an astounding number of businesses – from small start-ups to large global corporations – that struggle to align sales and marketing teams for meaningful lead gen results.
What’s standing in the way? And how can you break through roadblocks if you’ve been aiming to build a strong lead gen function, but are missing the mark?Read More
In technology, getting an idea from inception to value involves a lot of moving pieces, which introduces risk. The concept behind DevOps enables organizations to break down the barriers to reduce that risk and get to value faster. To execute DevOps, developers can use containers for improved automation and on-demand deployment. So, in effect, containers help teams make DevOps possible.
Consider this simple scenario of a single web application with persistence:Read More
Easily delivering the right message to the right consumer at the right time is the dream for many ROI-driven marketers. Consider calls-to-action (CTAs). Did you know they actually convert 42% better when personalized than untargeted CTAs? That could make a big difference to your bottom line. Integrated, cross-channel marketing orchestration tools are key to making results like that a reality for your business.Read More
Only 13% of CMOs believe they can accurately measure marketing ROI, but many state “improved analytics and reporting” as a top goal for 2016.
How can marketers better leverage marketing data for useful reporting that justifies investments and defends spend? We believe lengthy dashboards misaligned to digital marketing objectives are to blame for some of the divide. So throw out your current dashboards to make room for a fresh strategy.Read More
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein
I love this quote because it’s a universal adage that applies to any situation where we find ourselves reviewing lessons learned and reflecting, sometimes in agony, at what could’ve gone better.
In my work, I’ve consistently witnessed clients buy into the theory of the Agile methodology but flounder to commit to Agile fundamentals during execution, usually because unfamiliarity with Agile is overwhelming when faced with the allure, comfort, and predictability of waterfall.
Most marketers are currently caught in a whirlpool, comprised of data overload and increasingly complex digital marketing analytics:
- We have more data than ever before, thanks to the availability of information about customers and their behavior
- The linear marketing funnel has been replaced by a self-directed buyer’s journey and non-linear engagement
- CMOs are on the firing line to clearly justify program spend and ROI through proven metrics and data
High-quality search solutions. Would you believe that coding with those four words in mind can dramatically improve product performance and influence the final experience a visitor has within your site?
It’s true. Developers are now looking for ways to create flexible, performance-friendly code and search-based solutions that a native provider API cannot necessarily deliver. And with Sitecore’s LINQ to Provider, there’s a clear solution for search-based programming that’s both flexible and efficient.Read More
Remember ‘song time’ in Kindergarten, when your friends would all join together in a sing-along? My favorite was, “Old MacDonald,” because the simple melody and repetition could convince even the shyest person to sing.
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-OH
And on that farm there were some ducks, E-I-E-I-OH
Are you getting enough bang for your buck with your digital analytics programs? Or are you like most marketing executives: swimming in data that you can’t quite get your hands around?
If you fall into the latter group, you’re not alone. CMOs today are struggling to find the right marketing analytics data that will help them justify spend, prove ROI, and report on the most meaningful business and digital marketing metrics.Read More
When it comes to implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, an organization’s priorities are often confused due to poorly defined business requirements, lack of proper change management and, most critically, inconsistent prioritization of the people, process, and technology involved.
Process and technology must be addressed in that order, with the human factor naturally being considered throughout the entire implementation lifecycle. The idea is to take technology (or tools and systems, of which you may use several) out of the equation in order to determine your CRM business problem and better focus on people and process.Read More
So you have a brand new website and it’s running on a super-fancy CMS/DMS that allows you to turn your content into a user profiling powerhouse. All you need to do is turn the switch “on” and watch visitors to your website fall into neat, profiled buckets…right?
Your content needs some serious attention before any user profiling starts to happen. Artificial Intelligence has not yet been incorporated into CMS, so you — the content owner — must provide that intelligence. That’s how you can profile your content effectively.
That was a question my then five-year-old son asked as we were eating breakfast together one day. The answer, which I’ve known for 30 years, was something I never gave much thought. “It’s so that when you look at him you remember whether or not you are Fire Mario.” That’s when it dawned on me: Fire Mario was one of my first and most prominent exposures to User Interface design.Read More
On a recent trip to Northern California, I was mesmerized by the sardine tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium – the sight of thousands of sardines swimming almost effortlessly in the same direction created a glittering silver loop around the overhead tank. When the staff threw food into the tank, the sardines started swimming in every direction, darting back and forth as they each attempted to swallow up as much food as possible. However, order was quickly restored and all of the sardines once again resumed swimming in the same direction.
This sight reminded me of how the start of a project feels -- a feeding frenzy of ideas, with everyone jostling for position to get their ideas heard. Just like the sardine tank, our goal should be to get the entire team swimming in the same direction, working together to accomplish a shared vision.
The shortened sprint cycle is a significant change that occurs as the direct result of migrating the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to an Agile development methodology. It brings a number of immediate benefits, but also introduces several challenges. One of those challenges is maintaining a consistent level of quality as part of every release without incurring exponential costs in testing.
With proper understanding of testing procedures, you can turn an arduous testing process into one that seamlessly adds to the team’s momentum. But first, let's talk quality.Read More