One-team mentality

5 principles to initiate projects that create the foundations for long-lasting working relationships.

“Be brilliant, play nice” is one of Friday’s company values. We expect our people to actively and respectfully engage in shared endeavours, be ready to improvise, and quick to laugh. Internally, we celebrate the output of the team (that is, the work) over an individual’s self-gratification. Which means, despite the high talent density at Friday, egotistical dramas are extremely rare. A beautiful thing.

Our focus on being militantly collaborative flows into our external relationships as well; with clients, their partners, and third parties. Another beautiful thing, with material impact as doing ‘digital’ well often means solving messy and complicated problems across many layers of an organisation.

Typically we work with our clients to develop a shared articulation of the target customer experience and a vision for the organisation that serves it. We’re designing, prototyping, building, testing and releasing digital products and services that most of the time require improvement to the existing infrastructure or capabilities. Our work always requires an openness and mutuality amongst multiple stakeholders that transcend traditional organisational structures, in order to maximise the value created.

We regard ourselves as part of the client team and expect a continual alliance; with active communication, that allows us to respond to client pressures and problems. It also means we’re transparent with our work, sharing work-in-progress openly and frequently. We expect key stakeholders to be available and willing to work together at critical project milestones. This breeds confidence in what we do, and develops trust as the foundation for long-lasting working relationships.

We aim to instil a ‘one-team’ mentality at the outset of every assignment through 5 principles to initiate a project. These are all discussed or agreed or shared or co-owned by the full team — including clients, partners and us. This sets us up for success as all parties collaborate to define and deliver the project, based on client priorities and continuous value assessment.

1. Project kick off
A formal project kick off sets the project trajectory to clarify its purpose and value.

2. Ways of working
Ways of working are defined with all project stakeholders. A useful way-finding exercise that forms relationships and is referred back in project delivery.

3. Shared language
‘Digital’ and client organisations are littered with unhelpful terms and acronyms that hamper communication. So, it’s invaluable to unpack them and share a common language.

4. Shared spaces
A physical space is dedicated to a project team, dressed and refreshed with new stimuli as the project evolves. This create visibility for the project — of activity, velocity and trajectory. Useful for the team, for the extended group of stakeholders, and for the unexpected observer who has serendipitous knowledge or expertise to contribute along the way. The physical space is complimented by a virtual space, accessed by all team members, with tools to facilitate collaboration and establish a single version of the truth.

5. Rhythms and routines
Rhythms and routines are the lifeblood of a project, the rituals that keeps the work progressing. These include daily stand-ups, working groups, status reports and other communication tools.

At Friday establishing a ‘one-team’ mentality with our clients is key to everything we do, which is one of the reasons why we recently moved to a new operating structure. Read all about it in my post ‘Changing gear for growth’.

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