I’m writing this as the usual Christmas songs drift around the office, giving that warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s been a while since I last blogged, and I had meant to make this a more regular occurrence. However, the past 12 months have taken up more of my time than I (probably naively), thought it would. Anyway, here's a little recap of oe:gen's 2018...
What's improved this year?
We've defined the oe:gen culture
It's been a great 12 months here at oe:gen and we've seen so many positive changes. One of the things we’ve focused on is the culture here; we’ve always had a great working environment at oe:gen, but there’s never really been anything solidly defined such as our values and what our passion is. Defining your values, whether in business or life, is so important to make sure the people in your life match with them.
Creating your company values does take some work to get right. Simply creating a list of values that sound good but don’t actually mean anything to your team or align with your vision, won’t improve anything. However, getting them right gets everyone focused behind your shared vision, and makes sure they run through everything you do as a company. You then have to live them.
Our defined values
'We’re a smart, friendly, straight-talking bunch of user-focused strategists, tech-savvy creatives, technical experts and experienced project managers— all in the same room, crossing disciplines and working side-by-side.'
'We're experts in making beautiful, collaborative Salesforce Communities, lightning-fast CRMs, seamless marketing automation, and providing any kind of Salesforce consultancy you're after.'
- Continuous improvement
''When you're finished changing, you’re finished.' We definitely agree with that. That's why we make sure our team has the opportunity and flexibility to learn and improve as our industry continues to evolve.'
'When our clients are winning, we're winning. This medley of continuous improvement, professionalism, and our tight-knit culture is our ultimate recipe for being a winning team, every day.'
We've introduced agile ways of working...
We’ve also adopted the Agile methodology at oe:gen, not only for the delivery of client projects, but how we run the business as a whole. Using Agile methodologies for the delivery of projects has proved a revelation, and means we’re delivering on-time and on-budget. It takes a good story to convince clients this is the right approach, as the classic waterfall approach is much easier to understand with fixed cost and deliverables.
Using scrum ceremonies like “sprint retros” at a company level have proved to be really successful, getting buy-in from everyone on the company and cementing our “One Team” value.
... and Objectives and Key Results
As well as practicing Agile to run our business, we’ve also introduced Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). OKRs are a great technique for aligning everyone in your company to your shared goals and collectively focusing your efforts on the things that matter. It also creates clarity and focus while connecting your team members to your shared mission.
Not only are objectives shared amongst the team, some are driven by the team, too, so it's something everyone in the company is involved with. This helped everyone get behind the strategic vision of our company.
We've kickstarted the oe:gen Academy
In fact, we've just offered one of our two-week work experience students a full-time position in the new year! You can apply to the oe:gen academy right here to kickstart your Tech career.
We became a Silver Salesforce partner!
In short, our expert skill and ability as a Salesforce Consulting Partner is now universally trusted and recognised, which was a big part of our growth plans for 2018. Next stop: Gold!
Running for Mind
On a more personal note, I’ve now started in earnest my training for the Virgin London Marathon next April. I decided it was time to do some altruistic act and raise money for a charity I have an affinity with. That's why all the money I raise will be going to Mind – the mental health charity. Mental health is something of a hot topic now but is something I’ve been dealing with all my life.
Fitness – in particular, running — was something that's helped me cope with the challenges I’ve faced. However, running 26 miles might be a little excessive. Smashing out the miles over the Winter months isn’t going to be fun, and I hope my knees can take the punishment.
I'm aiming to raise £2,000 for the cause, and every little helps. You can donate to my JustGiving page right here!
It's still early days for our growth journey, so some refinement is needed to get the right number of objectives with enough stretch. I’ll write more as we progress and share this journey with you all! But all in all, it's been a fantastic year and I'm so excited for what the future holds.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and great New Year!