Creating an Agile Playground

As all tech companies can tell you, the relationship between business and IT teams is a partnership that is necessary, critical, constantly transforming, and occasionally aggravating.

At Progrexion, we work hard to maintain the secret sauce for keeping our cross functional work efficient, progressive, and fulfilling for all team members involved. About a year ago, our software team made a huge organizational shift to their work flow. Gone were the days of one large project request and here were the days of scoping, sizing and velocity. We officially entered the Agile Development landscape.

As the Product Owner for our marketing systems, there are very clear successes from integrating this new process; as well as new areas that need to be maintained and monitored to ensure the success of the process. If your company transitions to this trendy new organizational model, prepare yourself for both the increased efficiency and the attention that will be needed for people management. Petier Fabrique gave an excellent synopsis on the things to look for with Agile during his recent presentation at SXSW this year.

Here is my Top 5 list of “facts to know” when jumping into Agile – based on our transition to the new model with our Progrexion marketing and IT teams.

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What Is Google Penguin 2.0? | When Penguins Attack

Google Penguin 2.0 is a continuation of Penguin 1.0 and Google’s continuous efforts to clean up search results and give users a better search experience. Google’s Penguin 2.0 update targets people who practice “black-hat” web spam. Meaning, “Techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner.” One technique, for example, would be selling or buying links on advertorial pages in order to make your website rank higher in search results. So be wary of people who approach you and offer money to place a link on any advertorial or any other pages on your website. This would be in direct violation with Google’s guidelines and could result in your site losing traffic. Their goal is to surface truly authoritative websites in whatever niche the user is searching. If you own a website and publish great content for your readers then you probably don’t have to worry about Google Penguin. Read More

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How to Pick the Right Marketing Vendor

I’m currently putting myself under a lot of pressure to pick the right marketing services vendor. If I pick the right vendor, I’m setting myself up for success. This new vendor will help take my channel to the next level. If I pick the wrong vendor, I’m setting myself up for not only for failure, but daily frustration and precious wasted time. In trying to mitigate this risk and increase my odds in picking the right vendor, I’m following a 3 step process that I’d like to share:

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Why You Should Consider a Pay-Per-Call Campaign

Pay-Per-Call is a performance-based advertising model in which traffic is sent through an advertised phone number, connecting the consumer with the merchant. It is rapidly growing in popularity within the U.S., as nearly half of our population uses smart phones – and this number continues to climb each year. The financial services industry is one which has demonstrated huge success with this model, which makes sense. Most businesses in this space provide unique services, based on the needs of an individual consumer, and in many cases you are also dealing with personal information. Conversion rates are typically much higher over the phone.

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Used Reports

Whether or not we like to admit it, building and distributing reports is a function of any analytics team. Some days it feels like all I am doing is reporting. Other days I get to dive into the data and search for interesting findings. Reports are used in all types of disciplines: Doctors use blood reports to determine if a person has deficiencies in vitamins, anti-bodies, and other blood chemistries; Engineers use reports to determine what materials are needed to build things; Retailers use reports to update inventories, determine conversion statistics, improve processes, and a plethora of other things.

In my personal life, I reconcile my bank statement (a report) with my receipts to make sure they match. Reports are everywhere. Even people who think “I never do anything with numbers or reports,” actually, well – do. Reports are generated from time cards, from your activity on the internet, from going to the grocery store, everything.

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Finding the Balance: Work vs. Personal Life

Last week I was talking with a good friend of mine about how finding the right balance between the time you spend at work vs. the time you spend on your personal life is the key to happiness. And I believe this balance is getting more and more difficult for each of us.

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TMI?

We live in a world that is driven by information. It is almost too easy to find out any answer to any question that we have. While having a casual conversation with my Dad about a former sports star, I asked Siri the question we had about his career stats and within twenty seconds I had them at my fingertips. To us it was just part of a normal conversation that we have all the time. But the reality is that when I was a child, that information would have only been found in a book at the library. Today, I have five different devices in my home that could give me the information with minimal effort.

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Recognizing Leadership

Leadership Presence is making meaningful contributions in the world. It is enhancing your strategic view, committing to a vision, and inspiring though your “way of being”. I have always struggled with inspiration and using language to enroll others in a vision. I get very excited about ideas and have a fun and positive attitude about things, but I fail to take that to a level of influence and enrollment. I have been working this past year to become a visionary leader and expanding my influence. I want to be one of those great orators that could move people for good. In order to do this, I started looking for examples of this around me.

I started by looking for these leadership qualities in the movies and TV shows I watch, and in the books that I read. I love good character development and found this practice to be very fun and interesting. Once my eyes were opened to it, it was very easy spot. I started to pay attention to characters intensely and to notice inspiration in everything I was taking in.

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