With the holiday season just around the corner, there’s a lot to get excited about. And, for a lot of us, that means enjoying some delicious food!
First it’s the juicy Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings and Grandma’s yummy homemade pumpkin pie. Next, you’re whirled away into the endless barrage of sweet treats, candies and melt-in-your-mouth goodness for the entire month of December. Don’t forget about all of those holiday dinner parties where you will wine and dine to your heart’s content. After all, it’s the holidays and you deserve to celebrate! Finally, move right on into New Year’s where you’ll have one last hurrah and ring in 2014 by sampling even more delectable goodies and fine wine.
Social media – it’s a powerful way to communicate. As you’ve probably noticed in your news feed, thousands are participating in a 30-Day Thankfulness Challenge on Facebook. Seems like everyone is sharing all the things they are appreciative of this holiday season and beyond. The client advisory team at Geonetric wanted to join in on the fun so we decided to share what we are thankful for.
What is the difference between a project manager and a client advisor?
It’s an interesting question and one we at Geonetric have been answering for some time now. During our company-wide roll out of agile, we refined some of our internal roles, and with that came the transformation of our project managers.
Geonetric’s project managers have always handled more than just timelines and budgets. We are a very hands-on group – we do everything from place content to test new website functionality.
But now, we’ve taken on more of an advisory role. What does that mean for our clients?
About 1/20 of the giant post-its capturing learning at the Humanizing Work Conference.
A number of the readers of GeoVoices are other companies using Agile methods, or considering it, because Geonetric is particularly aggressive in using Agile methods. If you’re interested in Agile, this post is for you. If not, feel free to skip this one!
Our Agile coach, Richard Lawrence, and his company Agile For All, put on a conference called Humanizing Work this week for advanced practitioners of Agile. Everyone had at the minimum been through a full Agile training program already; most had been involved with Agile for quite some time, some for many years. Attendees ranged from very large, well known corporations to small businesses and everything in between. Continue reading →
In October of last year, I wrote about how we were using Scrum to drive agile marketing campaigns. This ended up being our pilot program to see if Scrum works outside of the software world.
We found out a lot of what makes Scrum so great does in fact work outside the walls of software, just not everything. We actually deemed the practice “Scrum” (yes, making finger quotes when you say it!).
A year later all of our teams are using some elements of Scrum, and to a much greater degree, embracing the constructs of Agile that help us get things done. We are trying not to call it Scrum either, when it’s not.
Our software teams still embrace Scrum and the rest of our company has learned a thing or two from this.
Agile-versary??? Stay tuned for more about this exciting effort in the next few months!
The ultimate test of team dynamics. A collaboration of goals. And, a leap of faith into the unknown. You’re put on a team you don’t work with regularly. You have one day to build a new Web site. From scratch. At the end of that period of time, it has to be delivered. To make it even more challenging, you don’t really know many of the requirements going in.
If you got that project at work, I’m sure you’d think about getting the old resume together. What happens if you don’t get it done? What if there are too many requirements? What if you don’t like the people you’re working with? How do you know if your deliverable will be good enough? Continue reading →
We don’t stay up 24 hours because it is a cool thing to do, we stay up 24 hours to touch lives. And we touch lives through the websites that we build for these very deserving non-profits in our community. We give by doing what we do best – helping these organizations create a presence on the Web that will enable them to reach more people – people that might need help as well as people that may want to donate their time or money.
Last week Geonetric held its second annual Operation Overnight, a 24-hour volunteer event that brings teams from across Geonetric together with local area nonprofits in need of website makeovers (or even first websites). Despite it being a 24-hour event with the feel of a hackathon, many of the basic tenets and concepts from Scrum are applicable. In fact, I posit that a Scrum approach is more important, not less important, for an event like this.
Breaking the day’s work into manageable sprints, having a sprint board, hourly standups, retros, and a clear investment in backlog grooming — all help. In fact, this year I introduced a new concept to our Operation Overnight team: the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). What’s an MVP? Kenneth S. Rubin, noted Scrum theorist and author, introduces it this way:
Change is scary. But what happens when you throw all convention out the window? Like really let loose and do something totally extreme. When you keep doing something over and over that doesn’t work… isn’t that the definition of insanity? So instead of driving yourself crazy, beating your head against the wall doing the same old thing, what’s stopping you from trying something different?
If you follow our blog, you’ve probably heard how we jumped in and implemented agile methodologies throughout our entire organization. Whether you know what that means or not, the bottom line is we knew we could do things better but the constraints of traditional management and organizational structure were preventing us from changing.
At our last company meeting, we watched a video about pit stops. Why? Because it was freaking awesome to watch! The Red Bull team set the record for the fastest pit stop in April of this year. The video shows it in slow motion for a minute and a half, and then the entire process in real time.
So, before you watch it, predict right now how long you think it takes to do a pit stop for a Formula One racecar. Remember it, we’ll come back after you check it out (you will want to put in on HD, and turn up your speakers):
At Geonetric, we’re all about cross-functional teams. We organize ourselves in groups of people with various expertise and we all work toward a common goal.
This year’s Geonetric Games was no different. Teams were formed and a heated competition ensued. Teams took the events as seriously as we take our commitment to doing great client work! This year’s favorite events included office chair relays, javelin (a.k.a. pool noodle) toss, and a water balloon toss (er… fight). As I whizzed past CEO Eric Engelmann in an office chair I thought, “How awesome is Geonetric?”
If you want to participate in next year’s Geonetric Games, check out our current job openings and join the fun! Bring on next year!
You probably know we’re a bit fanatical about measuring and acting on our clients’ feedback, so much so that we do it every 90 days. And then we post about it publicly on this blog. (Why? Because we think it holds us accountable to both clients and prospective clients!)
For our second quarter 2013 client satisfaction survey, we’re proud to announce that we exceeded our goal of 5.0 or better on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) in the Overall Satisfaction category, scoring a 5.08. Continue reading →
If you’re in the Creative Corridor, you might know that Geonetric is planning a big move next year to the New Bohemia district of Cedar Rapids. We’ve been in our current location since 2004, and while it has treated us well, we’re excited about swapping our current office park for a real, well, neighborhood.
We’ll be on the third floor of a building that will look something like this:
Rendering of the new Geonetric building in New Bohemia, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
If all goes according to plan, the new facility should be ready in the Spring of 2014. This is an important move for Geonetric for a couple of reasons:
We’re continuing our steady growth and we simply need more room. Our new location will be almost twice as large as our current one, and can accommodate projected growth for the next 10 years, at least.
We have a creative team. We need access to coffee shops, book stores, restaurants, markets, and beer to fuel all that creativity. New Bohemia is packed with this stuff: everything will be available in a one-block radius of our new location.
It’s being built on a former industrial site (it was once a steel plant at 415 12th Ave SE). Our project will convert an empty brownfield lot into a state-of-the-art office facility for several progressive companies.
Our current location doesn’t offer the collaboration space we desperately need. Our Agile adoption has put tremendous pressure on our teams to be flexible and communicate better. The new location will have lots of room for us to easily get together and make things happen.
The new facility will feature important amenities we don’t have now:
Open floor plans for easy pairing (two employees work together on one task)
It’s on the major bike path in our area, so employees can bike to work
Geonetric was named one of the Coolest Places to Work this morning by the Corridor Business Journal along with 23 other companies from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor. Before each company accepted their award, a one-minute video played highlighting the culture of that company. The video below was played before Ben got up to accept the award on behalf of Geonetric.
The video does a great job highlighting was makes Geonetric cool. It could easily have gone longer than one minute. Especially when it listed the part about the employees being what really makes the company rock. Here are some other things that we didn’t have time to include in the video:
Sound like you’d fit right in? Check out our current job openings and browse the site to learn more about us. If you don’t see a job that matches your talents, send us your resume anyways! We’re always looking for bright, dedicated employees.