We’re changing the way that we work at Zengenti, to deliver your projects more efficiently. You can expect the best combination of expertise for your project, and a closer relationship with those working on your project. 

It’s not just large projects that will get better. By introducing a new team structure, we’ll be able to get small fixes and ongoing improvements done more rapidly. With a team dedicated to smaller tasks and service contracts, those little improvements and ongoing refinements that get better results from your websites will happen sooner and more smoothly. 

What is changing? Instead of grouping our teams by discipline, we’re adapting an idea from Spotify called squads.  

What are squads? 

A squad is a group of people who get together around a purpose. Instead of being united around a particular discipline, they bring a mix of skills and all they focus on is that purpose. They have a physical squad room where they are based during a project. 

For example, our customer experience (CX) squad exists to handle smaller pieces of work, including service contracts. The CX squad is permanent, other squads are temporary. They exist as long as their purpose does. Each team member takes an interdisciplinary approach and can contribute at multiple levels. Team members stay with the project for longer and they only focus on the one project. 

With our previous discipline-based teams, each task was handed over from team to team. This meant that things could get lost in translation and made scheduling difficult – especially if there were delays for any reason. 

We were also in the position where one team could be working on a low priority item, while another was struggling to deliver high priority work. Because of the complexities around scheduling between teams, it was often impossible to reschedule the low priority work. This was crazy! 

Squads mean that you get a team with a better working knowledge of your whole project, and whom you get to know over time. The team can shift priority as the landscape unfolds, making everything much more efficient. 

We’ve already seen that with squads projects finish more quickly. With 3 or 4 people full time focused on work, you may find that we get through the work (and also the budget) faster. Because the whole team is entirely focused around the needs of you and your project, they don't get interrupted or distracted by anything else, which is great for everyone. 

From large projects to service contracts

When a project finishes the squad disbands and moves onto other work. This focuses our minds on getting things wrapped up, and it marks a clear end to the project. However, we know that you’ll have questions and requests after the project is completed. So at the official close of a project, we’ll give you an opportunity to take up a services contract with the CX squad. 

With a services contract, you might purchase a series of days per month which can be used in a variety of ways, from small fixes to ongoing design improvements, to analytics reviews, and content strategy work. They are the beating heart of our services and we’re already getting great feedback from people working with them. 

This will work perfectly for the ad hoc requests that come through after your site goes live. Websites are never finished. We want to help you to deliver far better results for your ongoing site goals by constantly supporting and refining your website over time. 

It resolves the tension that we used to have in our teams between large projects and smaller bits of work. We know that some of you found our scheduling unpredictable, whilst our team members found it hard to balance the two. 

What we’ve learned from squads so far

We’re taking an ‘always learning’ approach to this change, so it isn’t finished and we are still bedding in. There have been many lessons learned over the last few months and so far your feedback has been really positive, as has our experience.

We’re sure you’ll prefer working with people who are even more engaged in their work, who have even better working knowledge of your project, and who are able to focus on seeing the work through right to the end. 

Our squads are now available to work on any project you have in the pipeline – from user research to a full website build.

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Richard Chivers

About the Author

Richard is Zengenti’s CEO. He looks after all the teams at Zengenti. Being a developer at heart, he occasionally likes to push the odd side project. Between him and Simon Horan, they originally built both our flagship product – the Contensis CMS – and the business since its start.

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