There’s a lot of decisions you have to make in life, and one of the most important choices is hiring people to work for and with you.
You shouldn’t hire anyone to work in your company without thorough thinking.
0:26 – Dr. Jeremy Weisz shares the best solution that makes documenting standard operating procedures drop-dead easy, highlighting a 14-day free trial. No credit card required.
1:49 – Dr. Weisz introduces the guest, Andrew Cederlind.
1:59 – Mr. Cederlind talks about companies and clients he works with, and their target market.
5:56 – The guest talks about his hiring process.
9:00 – Mr. Cederlind talks about positions under team leads called client services coordinators.
10:05 – The guest shares how he communicates with his team, deciding who gets to move to the team lead role, and how he breaks the news to the rest of the team.
11:16 – The guest speaker points out good qualities he looks for in a team lead.
12:18 – Mr. Cederlind shares how he decides when it’s time to hire/promote someone to the team lead position.
14:48 – The guest talks about the questions he asks the team to decide whether or not hiring someone new is necessary.
17:28 – The guest shares a few cases where he had to change certain things in his process to improve it and eliminate bottlenecks.
21:37 – The guest talks about the software he makes use of, and how to set up measurements to accurately track works being done.
24:10 – Mr. Cederlind named his favorite software tools, and how the company started using the one it currently uses.
30:14 – Mr. Cederlind talks about software he uses internally for communication.
32:10 – Outro.
He is a graduate of Western Washington University, where he majored in journalism/public relations. He has done volunteer work as a children’s mentor at North-Shore Community Church.
His skills vary from media relations and AP style, to social media marketing, strategic communications, and much more.
Andrew is a digital marketing and advertising expert with more than eight years of experience of managing campaigns for hundreds of clients countrywide.
Project management, campaign execution, SMB marketing, and campaign strategy are just a few of his many specialties.
Speaker 1: Welcome to The Process Breakdown podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your employees all the information they need to be successful at their jobs. Now let’s get started with the show.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, host of The Process Breakdown podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. I’m excited. This is a topic, Andrew, I am just, you maybe don’t believe me, I’m excited. Forecasting hiring, when to hire, how do you hire? And we will get into that. Before we do, this episode is brought to you by SweetProcess. Also, I want to tell people to check out past guests, other interviews with David Allen of Getting Things Done, Michael Gerber of the E-Myth. But this episode is brought to you by SweetProcess. If you’ve had a team member ask you the same question over and over again, and maybe the 10th time you spent explaining it, Andrew, I don’t know if you can relate to this, there is a better way.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: There’s a solution. SweetProcess is a software that makes it drop dead easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. And I was talking to the owner, Oh, and not only do universities, banks, hospitals, and software companies use them, but first responder government agencies use them in life or death situation. So you can use SweetProcess to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time and your team’s time so you can focus on growing. And you can sign up for a free 14 day trial. No credit card is required. Go to sweetprocess.com. It’s sweet like candy S-W-E-E-T process.com. I’m excited to have Andrew Cederlind, he’s chief operating officer of Conversion Logix. Andrew, thanks for joining me.
Andrew Cederlind: Thanks for having me.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So just talk a little bit about you and what the company does to start.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So Conversion Logix, we’re a digital advertising agency and also a software company. So, our whole goal is to drive the best qualified traffic to our client’s websites. And then our software tools help convert that traffic. So we have an appointment scheduler and a few other different tools that help increase leads for all of our customers and clients.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: That’s awesome. I love it. Everyone wants leads. You know what I mean.
Andrew Cederlind: Everyone wants leads. Yes. It’s hard to get them.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Who’s ideal? Who’s ideal clients for you or customers?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, so our biggest market and we found great success with is the multi-family housing. So apartment communities have a huge need for leasing up these gorgeous buildings that you see all over the country. And so finding people that are searching for apartments, doing our best to get in front of them and drive them to our client’s websites. And then either putting offers or allowing them, especially now with COVID flexible touring is everything. And so being able to fill out a form or fill out one of our tools and even take a virtual tour or an in-person tour or some… There’s all sorts of mix of different tour types that they’re offering now. And so, that’s really our core market. We also work with a variety of local businesses as well, really anybody that needs to take anonymous online shopper and turn them into a real customer that used to have to go in-person, obviously less in-person now with COVID, but still requires an offline transaction. That’s kind of our core business.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I love it. Especially now it’s important.
Andrew Cederlind: Yes.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Everyone’s looking to… I don’t know. Have you seen a trend when people are moving now, and right now obviously could be any time, but if you’re listening, there is a pandemic going on, but have you seen any trends with that?
Andrew Cederlind: With when and how people are moving?
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, like right now. Yeah.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So we saw a very different longer, normally everyone moves in the summertime, really high percentage of people is kind of the peak season for that. And it was interesting because a lot of people in the spring obviously pushed off their move until things became a little bit more known in the summertime and it felt a little bit more comfortable with what we were dealing with as it relates to the virus. And then we’d actually saw that extend into the fall because people were kind of procrastinated. They’re trying to figure out what they want to do. And so we had kind of a longer leasing season than normal. And then now what we’re seeing is people are trying to get ahead of the curve for next year. So their lease might not be up until March or April, but they’re already taking tours and trying to contact places that they want to live.
Andrew Cederlind: And there’s been a very interesting mix of people moving from core urban markets, especially the high rent places, San Francisco, Seattle, where I’m based in New York, huge rent decreases and people moving to places like Scottsdale and even suburbs, warmer climates, I think Texas, Florida are getting a lot of that.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrew Cederlind: And so, we have clients that they can’t keep up with the demand in Charlotte and Raleigh. And then we have other clients that are offering three months free rent in Seattle, trying to get people to move in just because it’s two very different markets right now. So kind of K shaped as they like to say in all the headlines.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: It’s pretty cool. We’ll talk about forecasting and hiring, but I just want to tell people Andrew, they should definitely check out conversionlogics.com. I don’t care what business you’re in, because the messaging is so point that if you go, it’s like, fill your communities faster, we handle the marketing so you can focus on the lease. It’s like, boom. Right? So I love it. And that’s probably one of the reasons you probably are so clear on who you’re serving, your messaging as a company, that it makes it easier to serve, but I know you have a lot of processes in place. One of them is in hiring. And so I’d love for you to talk about kind of, you had a flat structure and what happened?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So, we’ve been lucky and fortunate to grow over the last… We’ve been around for 10 years and we’ve grown pretty steadily throughout that time. We kind of figured out our core departments the very similar structure to what they were, what they are now in a large part about five or six years ago, and then since then it’s really just been adding on a person. And so, Hey, man, everyone’s really, really busy. Okay. Let’s stick another person in there. And so, one of our departments in particular, the client services department, we had a director over the top, then we had a team lead and then everyone else about eight people are just a flat structure where you’re taking in requests from clients, from salespeople, and it’s great because you can avoid bottlenecks where you can move capacity over because everyone has a good idea of whatever else is doing, and you can shift as demand increases or decreases.
Andrew Cederlind: Some weeks are busier than others, some days, et cetera, et cetera. And so, one of our directors actually came to me and he was like, I really want to change our structure. And I want to change it from being a, we call it our queue. It’s all our work orders that come in for clients and changes and ad updates. He wanted to split it into three and put some national bigger accounts with a group in some of our emerging accounts that were different vertical with another group. And I was hesitant-
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: [crosstalk 00:07:19] team leads. So director, and then instead of being one team lead with all these people, there’d be three team leads?
Andrew Cederlind: Correct.yeah.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Okay.
Andrew Cederlind: So it was one or two. Yeah. Made three team leads and then have there be three smaller teams of maybe three or four people, all working on a specific subset of accounts. And I was resistant because I liked the idea of having no bottlenecks. I didn’t want one team to be really busy, the other team to be like, Oh, well our clients are low maintenance this week. But we went ahead with it anyway and the results have been fantastic. And I think there’s been a couple of things that really stuck out to me is that when we had our larger team, it was great. But at the same time, when everyone is responsible for this queue of work, that might have 60 items in it outstanding, no one is responsible. If everyone’s responsible, no one’s responsible.
Andrew Cederlind: I don’t know who that quote is originally from, but it’s a fantastic quote and I love it. But when you shrink the size of your team down, you get a lot more accountability with, hey, we’re working on this specific group of tasks. And so one, your list grows smaller, so it’s less daunting. And then you have a smaller group, sort of like more of a task force type group to deal with it. And so, I think those two combinations really helped us increase our output because they were working on completing a project versus attacking this “queue” that just kept filling up whenever you would bring it back down, it would replenish with new requests. And so, that had really helped us increase efficiency and get more output.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Andrew, what type of positions are under the team lead, just to give an idea? So it went from, now you have three team leads and there’s like four people under the team leads.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So those are all, we call them client services coordinators. And so it’s really, you’re a project manager. And so you might be juggling 15 or 20 different projects that some are pretty simple and other ones are relatively complex, where it’s a strategy change and a branding change and other ones that might be, hey, we just want to update our offer. And those are pretty quick and easy to take care of. And so, within the team it’s still, I guess, flat at the very bottom. We have some coordinator positions, but having a person closer to that team with a lead really overseeing what they’re doing, helped increase accountability and output.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: How do you communicate that with the team, or do you now that, okay, did someone move up to a team lead who was gone in that flat structure and then were then people… People don’t like change in general, right?
Andrew Cederlind: Right.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So then even if you change something that’s not a big change, people can be up in arms. So how do you communicate with the team? Okay, you’re going to team lead and now you’re going to be under this person. There’s only going to be four. I can see there’s a lot of conversation that has to go on.
Andrew Cederlind: Totally. Yeah. And we were very fortunate where there was two individuals that had really proven themselves and kind of really set themselves apart. And so, for us that made the decision really easy. It can be hard when you have two people and you only have one spot, but for us there was very clearly two individuals that were hungry for the opportunity, were looking to grow more. And at Conversion Logix, we’re always about trying to give people more opportunity and let them grow and develop their skills. And so, when this idea came available or these positions became available, it was actually a pretty easy call to move these two people up. And then the benefit of that is that the people underneath them recognized that they were the best people for the job. And so for us actually, it was obviously lots of communication on… Hey, here’s what this means. Here’s the type of questions that you should go to this person with. Here’s the things that still require the director to approve and things like that. But by and large, it was a pretty seamless transition.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Okay. Yeah. What do you see as good qualities? So we’re talking about hiring for a second. What are the good qualities and actions you see in a good team lead?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So for us, it relates back to our core values as a company. So our core values are hustle, focus, toughness, kindness, and service. And I think that if you’re a team lead, probably the two biggest ones and the two most important ones are hustle and then service because you’re serving your team. I believe in servant leadership, you should be below and helping lift your team up. If you’re a team failed you need to look at yourself as a leader first. Okay, did I not communicate this appropriately? Did I not have the right expectations for them? And so being able to really serve your team, and then obviously this is a service position, serve our clients, and then really just hustle because you as a leader are going to have to do more than the people underneath you. And so being able to hustle and work harder and work faster to get things done, to make your team successful. So those are probably the two I would pick out that I look for in leaders.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So now we’re talking about forecasting, you’re hiring based on output. How do you know when to hire the next or promote within the next team lead?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. So for us, we look at our total number of items that come in. And so for a typical month, if we get 2000 items per month that come in from our customers, and then we know the turnaround time that we want to get. And so then we can say, “Hey, are we actually meeting our stated SLA as for our turnaround time? And if we’re not, okay, what do we need to do to fix that?” The answer for us isn’t always hire another person. And so when we look at what the next step looks like, the first thing that any of my leads that come to me or any of my directors that come ask me about, hey, I think we were pretty busy last week. I think we might need another person.
Andrew Cederlind: My first question is always, well, where was your bottleneck? What part of the process did you actually struggle with? Because normally, sometimes it’s just, Oh, everything was busier in equal proportion, but a lot of times you can point to, well, hey, we’re building out new launches and that really took a lot of time. Okay, let’s dig into that. And so something that we’re really exploring now as we continue to grow and get larger is rather than slotting somebody in at the bottom because you reach the threshold of say each person should work on 200 items per week.
Andrew Cederlind: Well, no. The average is up to 210 or the average is getting a little bit high so we should hire somebody to drop that across the board and get more capacity. It’s also looking at the process, to say, well, hey, do we need to hire somebody, or move somebody into a position that is specifically for this troublesome procedure, like campaign launches?. And so that’s kind of what we really look at, I guess, first is treating the symptom and treating the actual problem versus just throwing a body and saying, well, if you have more people, you’ll be able to get more done so go from there.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I like that question. I’m curious of any other questions you ask the team, as far as… You asked where was your bottleneck? Well, there could be launches for the next two weeks and after two weeks-
Andrew Cederlind: They are gone.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: … there aren’t as many launches and then this is back to normal. So maybe like you said, okay, we need to slot someone in for the launches or maybe that is an ongoing problem, in which case you’d be like, okay, well, yeah, maybe we do need to look for someone else or depending on what they say. Is there another question you asked the team to discover or yourself to discover? Okay, one, you ask where’s the bottleneck, what else do you ask to see? How do we need to forecast hiring based on output?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. I actually asked them to define what busy means. So what does busy mean to you? Busy means different things to different people. And so somebody might feel like, well, I just feel like I got so much done and I couldn’t catch my breath. And then another person felt like, Oh, actually, that’s how they like to work. And so different things are… It’s very different. Some people like to feel like they have that 70% capacity and they like to have that extra bandwidth [inaudible 00:15:14].
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: A buffer.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, the buffer. And so, working with people to understand what do they really mean by too busy. And then, honestly, the next thing that I always ask is, are there any processes that we can change or improve? I would rather throw development resources and try to get a software tool built than hire a person because every single person that you hired you get this operational debt, because every person you add isn’t actually the output of a person it’s 0.8, or whatever the percentage is because you have all the noise about whatever’s happening in the company, and then you have a little bit of leadership and meetings and all these different things. And so, while we’re short by X amount of projects, just adding a person doesn’t get you that number.
Andrew Cederlind: And so the more we can do it with improving our procedures and getting rid of red tape in our organization, will I always have to ask this person for an approval? Okay. Do we really… That was something we decided five years ago it was a good idea, is that still a good idea today? And so, that’s really kind of where I try to attack it from. And then the last, I don’t want to say last resort because obviously you always need to hire people and you never want people to be running at the ragged edge and sprinting and unable to slow down because that’s not healthy either or sustainable. But hiring is sort of the once you’ve exhausted these other things like adjusting process, what specifically is the problem that you’re trying to solve? Is it working on emails? Is it working on launches? And then you understand why you’re putting this person in place if you do choose to hire a new person.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. That’s really smart because any process… I’m curious of what was one of those examples, Andrew, where, because you assess the bottleneck and maybe it’s temporary, but then you go to, okay, how do we improve the process and change it? Maybe it’s a software thing. Maybe we could eliminate it, certain things and they don’t even need to be done which would save the person time. Maybe that was something that people are doing three years ago, and it doesn’t make sense now like you said. What is something that you remember you changed in the process? Maybe it was a software, maybe it was just elimination that actually eliminated a bottleneck or it made it better. Do you remember any cases?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, I can think of a few that are relatively recent. One that was just within the last few months was our reporting that we do for emails. We used to have a different… We send email marketing for our clients. And so after every blast we send, we would send them a report that opens and clicks and it was pretty manual process. And we had switched to a new email platform about a year ago and their default reporting was actually pretty good. And so, we needed to add a little bit to it, but it was going to cut down the work required on that. And so-
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, it’s huge.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, exactly. But all the SOPs and everything were written for, Oh, this is how you do an email 24 hour launch report for what happened with your email blast. And so by changing saying, well, now you’re going to download this report and then just add these other three metrics that we like to include that they don’t include, you get to save time and also produce a report that is a little bit more compelling for the customer, so it’s a win-win. Another one that came up on our ad operations side of things is we do a lot of Google search campaigns. And for anyone that’s worked with Google, there’re budgets that they… You might say I want to spend $10 a day or a hundred dollars a day. Google will spend up to 100% more every single day as part of their algorithm, if they feel like they’re getting good results, whatever they define that.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Good results is taking peoples money. No, I’m just kidding. [crosstalk 00:18:53].
Andrew Cederlind: Look at their stock price? Googles’ stock price always goes up. So yeah. [crosstalk 00:19:01].
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: We’re going to spend a hundred percent Andrew, of what you said you wanted to spend.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: That’s a good one. Yeah, I like it.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. And so for our customers that, some of our clients have a pretty low budget and it’s pretty substantial if you go over. And so we had to do a lot of manual budget updates throughout the month to go check in and say, hey, is Google spending the right average daily budget? Is it going high? Is it going low? And so we actually built a script and have that be an automated process. And so if it falls outside of a certain threshold, it basically gets put on a red flag list where, hey, this [crosstalk 00:19:36]. And then sometimes if it’s within a certain variance, the system, the computer will actually update the budget automatically without somebody having to go in and touch it. And then for ones that are a little bit more unique, they get flagged differently. And that actually does require a person because they might be really extreme one way or the other. We want to make sure if somebody has their eyes on it.
Andrew Cederlind: But just little things like that, that you don’t need to go in and try to throttle this up and down a couple of percent a day, that doesn’t need a human to do that. And so finding examples like that, I guess, income processes can help eliminate extra work that distracts. You don’t want to pay people to type in numbers, you want to pay people to actually think and strategize about the campaigns and say, well, is this campaign the best it can possibly be? That’s what you want your people spending time on.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. No, that’s important to know because you don’t want someone combing through every last thing, but for the ones that are flagged that person can focus in and spend maybe a quarter of the time or more doing those things. I love that. And Andrew, I do have a question and I’ll let you think about it for second, but I want to ask what software you like. So people love hearing software stuff, whether it’s email or whatever using internally or externally. But before I ask it, there’s really… I want to talk about how to set up the measurements so you can see how much work is done, because that’s also…
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You talk about 2000 items. I would say, I’m just going to guess, a lot of people do not know these numbers, right? You are very numbers driven. I don’t know if they have the precise amount of, Oh, we know this person. We have 2000 items and this person’s working on 30 of them. That’s just my guess from talking to thousands of entrepreneurs and founders and people. They maybe don’t have like a really strong hold on those numbers. So how do you set up the measurements so you can see how much work is done?
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. It really just comes down to the system that you choose. And so, any project management software that you have, hopefully you can get some sort of reporting out of it that gives you metrics that either can get put onto a Google sheet or whatever, and you can actually analyze them. And so for us, we were on a platform called Podio for a long time. We outgrew it. It’s a kind of a basic ERP project management system. And we’re transitioning to ODU, which is an open source ERP that has tons and tons of functionality. And so for us, it really comes down to making sure that your system, that you have a way to export. Hey, here’s how many projects came in. And we actually even go down to the task and the sub task level.
Andrew Cederlind: And so we can see, Hey, this project type, if it’s a new launch, it’s one project, but that might have 10 different tasks, and each of those tasks like Google search campaign launch, that’s a task, but there’s 10 steps to that task. And so, we can get really, really granular and see exactly what’s getting done, when, and especially relative to the due date that it needs to be done by. And so, I would say we started really small too. And so it started with, well, how many requests are we taking in, and when are we getting them done? And then it kind of graduated from there.
Andrew Cederlind: And so I think knowing your numbers is really important because especially when you’re small, it’s easy, you know what everyone’s working on. It’s really easy. As you can see, everyone’s busy, you can see the work’s getting done, you’re making clients happy, hopefully you’re making money, the clients are doing well, but as you get bigger you lose sight of that. It’s just not inherent right in front of you. Oh yeah, everything’s firing on all cylinders. And so being able to see a dashboard reporting around those numbers is extremely important.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So, let’s kick out on software for a second and tools. Okay. So you mentioned… Because, people love solving things with tools and software, even though what’s really going to solve is actually analyzing it, the measurements and making sure these people, or people in general have this of tasks or sub tasks, but we’re using those tools. So, I’d love to talk about some of your favorites or ones out there. You mentioned Podio. And that seems like an all-in-one, it’s like a task management CRM. I know people use Asana. Why Podio as opposed to Asana or monday.com or Trello. Now you’re using a different one, ODU.
Andrew Cederlind: Right. Yeah. We went with Podio way back in the day because it was more than just a project management. We wanted to be able to tie it to our customers and understand which customers were giving, what requests and how many projects were we working on? And so that’s also why we went with a larger enterprise resource planner, ODU, which is similar to a NetSuite or something like that, where you can see the holistic picture of here’s how many clients I have, here’s all the projects that stems from those clients, and then you can drill as high level or as detailed as you want to be. I think that with any tool that you use, a project manager, it’s only as good as the data that you put in. Garbage in, garbage out.
Andrew Cederlind: We went through a big effort a couple of years ago to make sure that we were tracking things like accuracy. So everything we do, we have a review process where another person goes and actually looks at it and make sure that, because if you’re putting an ad up or if you’re making a campaign change, we want to make sure that it’s correct, and so we have a double-check process. But we didn’t have a metric in there. If something was wrong, we never had a thing that said, Oh, was there a fixed required? Yes or no. So just by adding that, one, it made our fixes need to go down because now all of a sudden everyone knew, Oh, someone’s going to come here and mark fixed required. Yes. And if I run a filter for all my projects that had a fixed required and who they were by, I can see who has the highest error rate on a team. And then you can have conversations around that.
Andrew Cederlind: And so, it’s all about how you set the process up, what metrics that you’re reporting on. And regardless of the tool we use, a couple of the tools that we use. We use Trello for some of our project management in the software world. We use that last, NewSuite for that, so JIRA, Confluence and Trello. We also use Zapier, which is a favor and just getting little stuff moved from one place to another, highly recommend that. But one thing I will say about software and tools is that if you don’t know what you’re going to actually put into the software or tool that you choose, you’re not ready for a software tool. You need to know exactly well, here’s… Start with the Google sheet and just have your team track.
Andrew Cederlind: Hey, here’s how many projects I worked on and here’s the ones that gave you the most trouble. Our team scores their projects too. And so, if your ticket or your project that you worked on was… If you’re a designer and you said, “Hey, this was a five point project and it should have been a two point project.” They can actually state the reason was, the client was being they were micromanaging it or whatever. Or the sales person didn’t give me enough information and so then my design, the client didn’t like it.
Andrew Cederlind: And so then we can go back through and say, what are our sales people, or what are the clients that are causing the most amount of redesigns or what designers are causing the most amount of redesigns, because they are following the direction of the branding of the client in the first place. But before you can get to that and you have to know what you want to track. So I would say, get that down first, a spreadsheet as good as any other system, if you use it. And then from there you can always graduate to something bigger and better.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: To you, is that in, let’s say it’s an ODU process, where they have to rank at the end what the project was like. Is that in within there, or is there a separate software that you use to have people rank it?
Andrew Cederlind: No. It’s really simple. It’s just a little dropdown and they’ll just rank it a one through… Actually, I don’t think there’s a cap. So they just say it’s a one through whatever. And so if there’s some crazy project that had 30 proof returns from a client, because they wanted you to do something one pixel over, and then we also use that to do postmortems. And so if you want to look at a project and say, well, this thing was a dumpster fire and it was just bad all around. The client’s not happy, the designer is frustrated, the sales person’s not happy because the client’s not happy.
Andrew Cederlind: And so, you can come look at it and do an autopsy and say, “Well, where did we go wrong?” If you don’t track that kind of stuff, it’s harder to flag it unless the designer or the director or a leader in that department goes, Hey, this one was really bad, we should really talk about this.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.
Andrew Cederlind: And obviously whenever you work on tons and tons of projects, you’re going to have ones that don’t go well, and it’s okay. You just always want to do what you can to produce that number in the future.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So, Andrew, what’s the question on that? So there’s a drop down one through, or zero through whatever-
Andrew Cederlind: It’s just that what would you score this project?
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Pretty broad.
Andrew Cederlind: And so they get to score it. And so if it’s in the software world, they use story points, if you’re familiar with JIRA. And so they rank, hey, there’s these six tickets I’m working on to build this piece of software. They rank how hard they think they are. And so we just kind of took that same concept and put it over into our other departments. And so it’s a little bit arbitrary because some people are going to… We have guidelines. Hey, if it’s a project that’s like this, this is a one. If it’s a simple update, it’s a one. If it’s an update, plus this it’s a two. And so we have guidelines, but it’s not a perfect system by any means because it doesn’t automatically update based on the project type, but we want to let people choose what they think is the appropriate level for that task.
Andrew Cederlind: And so, yeah, it kind of helps. It also helps balance out when going back to hiring based on output, you don’t want to look at somebody who did a hundred items, but they all did really, really easy items. And then you’re looking at somebody that did 30, but they did the really complex ones and they’re actually doing way more work. And so, once you have the score in there, well, you did 30 items, but your score, average score was a four, which actually multiplies to higher output than somebody that didn’t scores that are a one.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. You get that qualitative, somewhat of a qualitative assessment.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I liked that. Andrew, so what about internal communication or internally what you use? So you mentioned the kind of the CRMs, Zapier’s, other, something like internal, like a Slack or email or things that you recommend.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, we’re heavy on Slack. It’s a lot of our internal communication. We have a couple of, I’ll shout out a couple of apps that I think are particularly beneficial on Slack. One is one called HeyTaco, its kudos. Basically, everyone gets five tacos a day and you can give people tacos if they help you out as a kudos. And so it’s a great way to build community and get people that normally, they wouldn’t talk to each other because they’re not on the same team, especially now that we’re all remote, Oh, hey, you did a great job on my projects. So the sales person’s going to give a taco to somebody that helped them impress a client . And the second one is called Donut and it does virtual meetings, kind of like a virtual coffee. So it’ll randomly pair two people or more, you can choose in the settings together. And so again, it’s about getting people talking and connected that they normally wouldn’t talk to each other.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, start with food, or you’re just hungry [crosstalk 00:31:12].
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah, basically I guess. Yeah.
Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Now Andrew, I want to thank you. This has been awesome. I want to point people towards other episodes of the podcast, check out SweetProcess, and check out what you guys are doing at Conversion Logix, it’s really amazing. You said something, I think in book titles, I don’t know how it relates, but I think when you come out with your book, Andrew, fix required stuck out to me. I think a big golden nugget for me in this whole thing is, do you have something that indicates if there is issue tracking those issues, so you can see maybe it’s problems with projects or other things? So, fixed require. Do you have fixed required checked in any of your systems out there if you’re listening? I know we don’t. So we should. So, Andrew, I want to be the first one to thank you. Thank you so much.
Andrew Cederlind: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It was great.
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