This week, sports fans from around the world have a couple of significant events in mind. The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a sweet victory against the New England Patriots to win their first ever Vince Lombardi trophy at Superbowl LII and the world is turning its eyes towards South Korea for the start of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games beginning February 9, 2018. As a Canadian company with teams in both Montreal and Vancouver, we hold a special place in our hearts for the Olympics and know of the legacy they leave behind in the cities they visit. However, our interest in professional and amateur sports runs a little deeper. Truly, we are watching the nail-biter competitions this week to study something else: tactics, and ultimately the strength of a good playbook.
The 2018 Global Digital Outlook indicates that almost 20% of relationships with digital agency partners end because of project management dissatisfaction on the part of the client. At Ballistiq, we take project management seriously because we know that it has a tremendous impact not only on project success but on building the long-term partnerships with clients that we strive to maintain. Over the past six months we have been working to build our playbook, which will serve as a roadmap for our projects and client partnerships. To build it we collected our toughest lessons, collected the list of things we want you to expect from us, and worked to define a path that helps us repeat success on every project.
If the athletes and coaches we have been watching this week have taught us anything, a great playbook has depth. It has plays you only pull out for those moments where nothing else will do the trick; and like the Philadelphia Eagles when you do complete the pass to your quarterback the other team didn’t expect to catch the ball in the end zone, you’ll remember why that play was there - even though you rarely use it. In project management, a Playbook is only as good as its flexibility and its transparency. You have to be able to work within the playbook but be able to address the situation emerging in the project or in the relationship. The Playbook should set expectations for everyone who uses it. At Ballistiq, we like to be able to cater to a client’s needs, so you’ll find strategies for project management in our playbook that help us to manage agile or traditional projects without difficulty. We favor a Lean-Agile approach. This is an approach focused on creating a team who are empowered for project success through transparency and supporting tools while wasted effort is minimized and clients can access incremental outcomes that reduce risk and deliver value. Our project managers are Professional Scrum Masters and can easily work with agile teams for project execution but we also like traditional tools like checklists, and risk management plans, and project retrospectives. In our Playbook you’ll also see a list of things you can expect from us at each stage of our project. This transparency keeps us accountable to you and helps you to know the value that will be delivered to you in each project phase.
We admire the athletes and coaches we are watching this week because we know the hard work, dedication, practice, and preparation that have gone into achieving the status of Superbowl MVP or Olympic Gold medalist. As we assembled the Ballistiq playbook we reviewed our lessons learned from past projects and took a long hard look at making improvements that would have impact on outcomes for our clients. We get up, and we keep practicing every day. Our playbook will be iterative and a living document that we’ll continue to grow and improve with lessons we learn in each new project we undertake. We strive to continually improve our project management approach and the depth of our playbook because this expertise sets us apart in our industry.
We like iteration, because with iteration, comes innovation. At Ballistiq we use principles from design thinking to allow our teams to iterate on client projects and internal projects. Design thinking is an approach that works well at Ballistiq for the following reasons:
- It is solution focused
- It is user-centric
- It prioritizes technological feasibility
- It maximizes the value of the outcome
Like many of the things we do, our Playbook is evidence that we live and breathe the processes we recommend to our clients.
Over the next few months, if you’re working with us, you’ll hear us talking about our playbook as we work through your project. We hope you’ll tell us what you think of it, and give us feedback about your project that will help us to elevate our plays to the next level. And if you haven’t worked with us, and have been looking for a development partner that will get on board for your dream, check out our playbook here.
Cover image credit: Many thanks to ha.com for the use of their image of an original Dallas Cowboys playbook excerpt.