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Articles By:

Dave DeRuchie

  1. Deciphering Goals & Objectives

    Posted on 10/5/16

    Recently I’ve noticed that the terms “goals” and “objectives” are being used interchangeably in requests for proposals (RFPs) that we receive. It struck me that writing an article that explains how to differentiate goals from objectives has been tried many times before, but the message isn’t being received. Clients still use them interchangeably, making it difficult to differentiate the broader, more strategic purpose of the project (Goals) from the steps that will be taken (Objectives) to fulfill that strategy. If you receive a request for project work, and your prospect has taken some liberties with the use of goals and objectives, here’s one way to translate them into clear statements you can use to help determine your approach to the project.

  1. How profitable is your staff?

    Posted on 8/4/16

    High fives all around—you’ve just launched another website. It’s truly cathartic when a team’s work fulfills the goals and objectives of a project. But as the project lead, if someone asked, “How much profit did your team generate?”, would you know the answer?

    Ideally, you would, because you’ve been keeping track of your costs over the past months. Evaluating project profitability as your project progresses enables you to monitor hours used and assess the efficiency of your project process so you can make strategic adjustments.

    If you haven’t been tracking costs incrementally, it’s not too late to make sense of the numbers. Determining project profitability in a digital agency, or really any service-based business, comes down to understanding your costs. Let’s break down one way to determine profitability for a project team, based on time-tracking data.

  1. Client Dis-service

    Posted on 7/29/16

    The digital design space is unique, because it is an industry of largely positive dialogue and sharing. We collectively care about the web, so we want to help our clients solve their digital and/or content-related problems. Ultimately, as vendors and practitioners, we’re in this together.

  1. Search to Show We Care

    Posted on 4/13/16

    As many of you may know April is Autism Awareness month. As noted on the Autism society’s website: “Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.”

  1. The digital agency is dead. Long live the digital agency.

    Posted on 2/4/16

    In a mad dash to join all things product many are taking their design or development talents to South Beach the product space. Why the exodus? Curiosity led me to ask former digital agency practitioners representing design, development, and business analytic practice areas why they left agency life to pursue product work.

  1. The Web: yesterday, today

    Posted on 10/23/15

    The beauty of web was pure once
    Design and dev in an unexplored medium
    A true alternative to corporate tedium
    A rise to type, deservedly so
    Was anyone sad to see Comic sans go?

  1. Coglaboration

    Posted on 7/23/15

    Like many agencies, Happy Cog works with strategic partners and freelance professionals to supplement resources or to utilize their unique skills for internal or external project work. Finding people you can trust is not always easy.

  1. Celebrate The Process

    Posted on 6/21/15

    Client service is hard, frustrating, emotional, rewarding (sometimes), and challenging. When agency folk get together client stories are shared like a cathartic verbal exchange meant to keep us from attending the next client services anonymous meeting. I’m not condemning the practice, venting is good and there are some absurd stories worth sharing. But venting is a slippery slope. If the only thing coming out of your mouth is negative it may be time to consider an attitude adjustment – don’t condemn the process, celebrate it!

  1. The Detail-less Project Plan

    Posted on 4/10/15

    The meeting started 15 minutes ago and all I can think about is how humane cyanide might be at this point in time. If the look in our project team’s eyes are any indication, oh wait, I can’t see their eyes, because they’re rolling back into their heads as the project manager calls everyone’s attention to task 231, WBS ID 2.3.5!

  1. Let Your Values Be Your Guide

    Posted on 1/22/15

    It’s easy to forget your company values when you move through your day-to-day responsibilities and rush to forecast and plan for your next business milestones. But, discarding (if only for a moment) the values that make your company what it is can lead to dissatisfaction within your team. Preserving your values is an everyday task, and it should extend across other aspects of your business: growth planning, hiring practices, and how you communicate with your team.

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