Changing gear for growth

Growing an agency while maintaining the culture that delivers real value to clients.

At Friday we’ve experienced rapid growth over the past years. We’ve brought in people with new skills and capabilities to build on our core disciplines of strategy, design and engineering. This inbound surge of talent has been wonderful. We now have a deeper bench-strength, and more versatility to help our clients thrive amidst the ever changing digital landscape.

But these changes also came with a puzzle — how do we scale and avoid a throttling hierarchal structure that would be at odds with our digital culture? We often discuss with our clients the need to transform rigid organisational structures in order to become digitally relevant. We know teams and individuals need to be liberated to make rapid and informed decisions. And we understand that governance, processes and underlying systems need to support internal transparency in order to re-gear around the shifting expectations of our clients’ customers.

So, we’ve moved to a new operating structure. Introducing relationship teams — multidisciplinary, permanent units of Friday people that collectively focus on a shared group of clients. Each relationship team contains a senior practitioner from our core disciplines; a Strategy Director, Design Director, Technical Director, Delivery Director and a Client Partner. And together they work to reveal and tackle the problems the client, or an individual discipline, might not see and solve alone.

These teams are empowered with operational decision making authority based on an agreed quarterly plan for their client portfolio that is anchored in two performance metrics; a revenue target and a cumulative average project profit.

Everyone else at Friday (including the management team) is made available to be assembled, disassembled and reassembled around client and project needs. It means the management team can focus on the pursuit of the vision for Friday and get out of the way of the talented people working here, letting them get on with doing things that create value for our clients — utilising senior expertise where and when needed. We want to go further. The modern agile delivery methods we aspire to, and behaviour-driven-development, put decision making authority squarely in the hands of project teams that work directly with clients.

In fact, we actually regard ourselves as part of our clients’ teams. To find out more how we approach the relationships to our clients read my post on ‘One-team’ mentality.

Friday helps ambitious organisations achieve agility at scale. Our strategic engineers and designers develop digital products, services and platforms.