Trying to reflect on 2014, I realize that there are just way too many avenues that could be traversed. I could talk about projects, or my personal life, or even some nifty tech gizmos that we found this year. But looking back, one thing that sticks out in my mind is how much Red Argyle has grown as a company. Not from a technical chops perspective (although we did that, too), but from an operational entity perspective. We’re a real business that overcame a lot of real business challenges–and we excelled most of the time.
2014 is the year that we got our shit together. As a business, we’ve been busy. Not only completing client projects (hey, we finished nearly 100 of those), but in our own business operations. This kind of stuff is probably not the most technically compelling or ultimately interesting to a lot of folks, but I’m proud. So what did Red Argyle do operationally this year as a company?
- Got our security shit together. We reviewed and updated how we access our systems (all cloud based, of course). We made sure that things that need to be encrypted are encrypted. If it is two factor, then it should be two factored. We audited and trained our team on how to protect our clients’ data. And, of course, we are already planning out 2015 initiatives–it’s a never-ending battle.
- Got our development together. We standardized processes for managing our code repository, commenting, test management, and sharing “know-how” of projects.
- Quality, quality, quality. Established a quality assurance task force that meets regularly and executes tests on all projects.
- Got our PM together. We moved our project management to Jira. Why? Because Jira rocks. It’s built to do exactly what we need, is easy to integrate to other systems, and our team likes it.
- Got a new Support System. Yes, we moved that to Jira, too. (Disclaimer: We love Salesforce, but the depth and ease of integration into our Jira-centric processes made sense for us.)
- Chatted like mofos. Hello, Hipchat! We love you.
- Got our HR together. Everything with an electronic signature and organized electronically and perfectly. How do I know this? We had a labor audit and were 100% clean with no issues cited. Heck, we even set up a 401K program this year.
- Got our smiles together. SXSW? Staff retreat? Dreamforce? Cloudforce? Ate a prime rib? Check, check, check, check, check.
- Marketing and Sales, you ask? We posted 57 blogs, have a growing monthly newsletter list, and more Twitter followers than ever. Yes, we even saw some ROI.
- And, best of all, took the time to recognize that our customers are still the best. 75% of the work we did in 2014 was with clients we had worked with in the past. The rest was net new/growth. All of the above organizational stuff keeps customers, and this year’s efforts proved it.
So behind every billable hour that we produce, all of the above is going on. Red Argyle is not just an executor of work, but a living, breathing group of hard working people who are building a resilient and effective company to better serve our customers and make for a great place to work. So yeah, 2014 was a great year. We tackled a ton of projects, both for clients and ourselves, and came out successful. I can’t wait to see what we can do in 2015.