- 11 Talented Team Members
- 36 Hours
- 43 Empty Coke Cans
- 15 Pages of Sketches
- 8 Action Meetings
- 1 Deadline: On 6:00 Sunday our new site would go live, in whatever condition it was in.
This had just gotten Real.
Why This Needed to Happen:
Our company has grown so quickly during the past year. Our website no longer reflected how we’ve evolved to our target market. We now needed to re-position our business.
The new site would be an amazing experience that could truly initiate a dialog with our customers, helping them get to know us. The challenge: to create and launch a website from scratch that would accomplish our core objectives in less than 36 hours. From 9:00AM Saturday morning until 6:00PM sharp on Sunday, Lifeblue put our talents to the test in an all-out website building marathon of awesomeness! Here’s how we did it:
Be Prepared! Or Not…
It would be easy to get caught up in preparation for the big weekend. After all, the more we could do before hand, the less work and stress there would be over the weekend, right? … Maybe not! We know from experience that a project will take as long as the time allotted to accomplish it. (Learn more about Parksinson’s Law.) Rather than balking at constraints, our team knows not only to embrace constraints but to welcome them. Constraints are a part of our everyday life, and they serve to force creative thinking. Constraining the project to 36 hours would keep the site simple and effective. We walked in the door on Saturday morning with just a site map and ambition. (And plenty of 5 Hour Energy Shots)
Shaking Up the Roles: Client and Agency
We saw this weekend as a unique opportunity to not only build our new website, but to build our team as well. We shook things up a bit: The management team became the “Client” for the weekend, and the development team became the “Agency.” In this way, we challenged each other to step out of our normal roles, expectations, and comfort zones. Our talents were put to test, and every one of us had the opportunity to work on new skills. For example, the management team, through the process of actually having to come up with all of our website content, gained a new empathy and insight into our clients’ hurdles as they must sometimes struggle with the daunting task of writing about themselves. The development team underwent new challenges as each team member was designated as either a Project Manager or an Account Manager for a certain block of time. Two Account Managers were assigned in order to communicate with the “Client” and present the team’s ideas, take in feedback, and offer suggestions. A project manager was tasked with keeping the project moving forward at an aggressive pace. In this way, each of us could work on being a T-Shaped thinker, which is one of the foundations of our company culture.
The most important thing that came out of this weekend wasn’t the development of a brand new awesome website. (Although that was a pretty cool perk!) It was the experience of working together toward a common goal. We’re always striving to improve our business, and the heart of that is our Team. By compressing the normal stresses of launching a site into such a short timeframe, we came together in new ways to overcome hurdles and help each other out every step of the way. We knew our real success would be measured by how well we worked together and how much we learned together as a team. If we succeeded, the website would fall into place on its own.
We left on Sunday with a new site launched, and feeling the way a Marathon runner must feel after running the race! It’s arguable whether we “won first place” but we finished the race, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment. There were plenty of moments of laughter, frustration, camaraderie, stress, and victory… and we experienced all of these together, as a team. The lessons learned from this weekend simply can’t be learned any other way. We are sure they will be invaluable as Lifeblue continues its journey forward. Martin Luther King sums up the measure for a person’s character when he said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” We are extremely proud of the character of our Team.
Let us know what you think of our new website! E-mail me at: Lauren@lifeblue.com