Our Pulse team is dedicated to providing efficient support, working with you to continuously improve your existing digital products, and rapidly creating smaller-scale new projects.
In 2017, we decided to restructure our development team here at Etch. And on January 1st 2018...
Now, with three months under our belts, we thought it was time to do a little write up about the split. What we did, how we did it, and why.
We love solving problems here, and every now and then, those problems are internal. The past few years have been exceptionally successful for Etch, and we've enjoyed a period of sustained growth. But as a result of our scale and our success, things began to change.
Firstly, scaling is just plain difficult. To grow in a way which allows you to maintain your standards of quality takes an astounding amount of discipline, impeccable hiring, and pitch-perfect guidance from senior members of the team.
And the more a team grows, the harder that gets, exponentially. We've done a fantastic job (if we do say so ourselves) at this to date, but we recognised that it was becoming increasingly more challenging.
Not only that, but despite our growth, our development team were still getting booked out months in advance. Our popularity is both a gift and a curse: How do we continue to work with our partners effectively, if we're too busy?
And to address the issue, we would need two teams. One to focus on the large scale, multiple sprint builds, and one to do... well. Everything else.
In practice, that means that the Pulse team has three core responsibilities. First and foremost, our goal is to continuously improve every digital product we work on. One of our principles is that we have partners, not clients, and that means we're in it for the long haul.
No website (or any software, for that matter) is perfect when it first launches. It evolves, it responds to feedback, it gets infused with new ideas and adds great new features. We call this continuous improvement, and we sell this as a monthly retainer called Loop. It's the best way to ensure your website is constantly improving and that your business is moving forwards.
As you hopefully know by now, there are some ridiculously talented people who work here, and having Loop turns them into your own personal development team for a little slice of every month. It's a fantastic investment.
Secondly, while we make every effort to ensure that nothing ever goes wrong, sometimes things go wrong anyway. Like most agencies, we offer warranties and other guarantees, but the reality of web development is that things don't always fit neatly into 30-day windows.
With that in mind, we want to offer our partners the peace of mind that only comes from having a truly dependable support service. That's us. Simply put, we fix things.
But we don't stop there: we routinely upgrade, we proactively monitor and review the sites under our care, and we're available on the phone for any assistance you need. All that for a fixed, all-inclusive monthly cost.
In addition, our agility and flexibility allows us to offer fast-tracked projects. Smaller scale, quicker turnaround, same great talent. Our team can help you spin up new campaigns when you need them, construct extraordinary auxiliary projects for your business, and help you get things done on tighter budgets.
The story so far
So far, the results are paying dividends. We had a lot of concerns about how this new structure would work in practice. How it would operate? How it would handle inheritance of projects? How it could possibly schedule itself in a way that makes sense?
And through the brilliant effort of our team so far, those questions are being answered. We'll be sharing more on the blog in future about how we're using Trello (and more!) to self-organise, about how to sensibly manage handovers between teams, and about how to run a team who have to be prepared for the unknown.
For now, I can tell you that our response times are currently lightning fast, and our partners are enjoying more regular contact with the dev team. Our Loop partners are getting the new features they need to take their website to the next level. And we're just getting started.
Simply put, the Pulse team is the heartbeat of what we do here at Etch. It's the new face of some of our best services, and the very essence of what our company aims to do: we solve problems, we create incredible products, and we make everything better.