January 2014

Gavin Pickin

TGIF - Take a little time for yourselves - Client Free Friday

Chit Chat, Client Free Friday

In a business like ours, we're almost always putting out fires, there are always deadlines, and new priorities, and when you have a couple hundred clients, there is always something to be done for someone. Thats pretty good, usually, except, its really hard to push yourself, and work on your own website, brand, marketing and social media, when you are so busy with everyone else's. 

At the start of this year, I decided to put into action, an idea that emulates some of the well known tech companies, and declare Fridays a "Client Free Friday." 

As you can tell from this weeks lack of blog posts, this week has been hectic, and I haven't had time to get even my own personal items done this week... but we had a couple of big launches, and the big big launch was really successful, the other one, running into issues with IE 11 and compatibility mode, but life goes on. So, especially on weeks like this, this Client Free Friday is a way to make sure we look after our own house, and not always looking after everyone else's.

What exactly does this mean? 
This means we are going to try and transition ourselves into a work schedule where Monday to Friday, we work on Client Projects and tasks, like normal. Friday is going to be different, we're going to spend Friday learning, working as a team, enhancing ourselves, or one of our Products (which part of the process will be identify, prioritize and focus), and try to really push ourselves to be better people, a better team, and a better company.

Of course, there will be "emergency" or "urgent" work that will be attended to, phone calls, email support, and our usual array or support capabilities, but wherever possible, we will put the work off until Monday, where we can dedicate all of our energy to it.

So what will these Fridays include? 
To be honest, I want to spend as much time in the Conference Room, with a couple of 40 inch monitors, and a 70 inch whiteboard, and get ideas moving and flowing. I want to see plans, designs, mockups, training, sharing, paired programming (angular and cfml), and some good socializing while we do it. 

Due to the holidays, and everything else, this is the first real Client Free Friday (this is what it is called until I find a better name lol).

So what is the plan for tomorrow?

  • We are going to work on our server migration. There are a lot of sites still not tested fully on ColdFusion and Railo on our new Centos Linux Server environment. We're going to identify a few methods for testing these sites, and appropriately report the bugs so we can systematically resolve those issues.
  • Discuss and Flesh out our Multi-Server Website Management Tool. Not all of our sites on all of our servers are managed through a central system, we're going to plan our system, so we can ensure all sites are put into the new system as we complete our migration.
  • Ensure all sites in the migration queue are Git'ed and the latest version is added to our Remote Repository.
  • Discuss our possible Brand Name Change, are we going to pull the trigger, yes / no, and if so, how are we going to market this brand, complete takeover, a sister brand, hip cool spin off.

This doesn't look like a long list... but for our small team, I think this will be a major under-taking. 
I look forward to tackling these items and making headway on these tasks. I wish more days were Fridays actually, but you can't always get what you want.

Does your office dedicate a day of the week, or a week in the month for their own projects, or do you treat your company project like a normal project and manage it the same way? I'd appreciate the feedback. 

Enjoy your Friday however you spend it.


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