All posts by Benjamin Brandall


Waterfall vs Agile: Which Methodology Is Right For You?

 The following is a guest post by Uwe Dreissigacker. Uwe is the Founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry. InvoiceBerry helps small business owners and freelancers to create professional looking invoices, get paid online and keep track of unpaid invoices. In his free time, Uwe travels a lot, explores new cultures and loves trying new spicy dishes.

agile vs waterfall

As a business, if you want your operation to run smoothly, managing productivity and your workflows is one of the best ways you can stay on track.

Before you even get started on a project, you should first take a step back and plan out your approach.

What methodology will you use? How will you manage productivity and stay on track? SCRUM? SWOT?

Decisions, decisions

The choices can be overwhelming. Not to mention, over the course of the actual project, you’ll have to make hundreds of other choices.

If you’re not sure where to begin, it’s best to think about your project as a whole and then select the right methodology you’ll follow – Waterfall or Agile?

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How Was Linux Created? The Processes Behind Managing 13,500 Developers

You have probably used Linux today — especially if you don’t have an iPhone. And if you browsed the web today, there’s a big chance that the website you visited was served by Linux, too.

Linux is an operating system, but unlike software like Microsoft Windows and macOS, Linux was developed by a self-organized community of volunteers.

Over time, with the effort of over 10,000 developers and evolving processes to manage the scale of work, the Linux kernel has grown to over 20,000,000 lines of code in total. It forms the stable foundation for…

  • Every Android phone and tablet on the planet
  • 66% of the world’s servers
  • 100% of the top 500 supercomputers

This technology didn’t come from an orchestrated team with a thick policy book and layers of management. It came from a few carefully-chosen and culturally-embedded policies, and a shared mission.

In this post, I look at how a technology so essential, complex and important could have been produced so effectively without traditional management structure. But first…

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Why You Need Customer Service Processes, and How to Get Started Now

The following is a guest contribution from Mary Shulzhenko. Mary is a digital marketer, content strategist and a copywriter. She is passionate about writing on customer service, customer experience, small business, marketing and a variety of other business topics. She provides the original content for LiveAgent, an award-winning and the most reviewed help desk software for SMBs in 2018. You can find her on LinkedIn.

Would you agree to fly on a plane knowing that the crew was simply ‘told’ what to do but didn’t use clear guidelines and instructions? Probably not.

Sadly, that is how many organizations operate today – without realizing that it may result in a wide range of negative consequences, from employee inefficiency, to lost customers and profits.

Telling employees what to do is not nearly as effective as having a set of written step-by-step instructions they can follow, explaining how exactly routine operations should be performed. That’s where standard operating procedures, or SOPs, come in.

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Task Management Techniques: 7 Lists To Get Shit Done On Time

Task Management Techniques

Maybe you’re the sort of person who sits down at their desk for 8 hours solid and hammers out as much as possible.

Maybe you use the Pomodoro method or your own task management techniques.

I don’t know what sort of person I am yet.

I used to give it no thought — wake up, lob a coffee down my throat, sit down and start typing.

Lately, my tasks are harder to define and I find myself having trouble with time management and prioritizing.

Right now I’m using Pomello, a Pomodoro timer that lives in Trello and times my work on each card. Click here to get it.

Pomello Task Management

Tomorrow I’ll probably be sick of it and defiantly hammering on the keyboard until it’s time to sleep…

In my seemingly neverending quest to get shit done, I’ve seen a ton of strange methods and lists. And, let me tell you, working at Process Street — a task management system for businesses — I’m making myself practice what I preach.

Here are some of the task management techniques I’ve come across.
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17 Unique Daily Rituals from the World’s Best Creatives & CEOs

daily-rituals-banner-2

You might think I’m about to tell you to get up as the sun rises, sit down at your desk and work until you can’t work any more. That’s probably because you’ve heard advice like this pretty often…

In fact, Slate writer Mason Currey says that after reviewing 161 daily rituals, the key lesson you can extract is:

“Get up early and go straight to work, making a cup of coffee if you like but not doing much else before sitting down.”

This is something I strive to achieve, usually having a run and a coffee before getting down to it. I find that if I let myself get caught up in tasks that have no clear end before I start working, it kills my whole day.

When I’m working, I’m happily open to distractions — anything from having the TV on in the background to making a run to the shop — but I always get up early to smash those vital tasks out of the way first and then take a more relaxed approach to the afternoon.

This doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, Currey says it’s only around one third of people that can do it. Maybe you can take inspiration from some of the world’s best minds and adjust your daily ritual for success.

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23-Point Peer Editing Checklist for Creating Exceptional Content

peer editing checklist

An editor is a writer’s best friend.

For me, that’s literally the case. I’ve known Ben Mulholland since my school days…

But for you, an editor is your best friend because nothing helps a writer grow faster than a great editor.

How will you know if what you’re writing is any good? You write to the best of your abilities, so to you even the most poorly received article was supposed to be good.

An editor, however, will be able to sniff out weakness straight away.

  • The opening line is weak
  • I lost interest during this paragraph
  • You don’t source this quote

And so on…

So you need an editor. And an editor needs a peer editing checklist.

At Process Street, we use checklists for everything we do. We have a pre-publish checklist for blog posts and marketing emails. We have a checklist for keyword research. We even have a checklist for making checklists.

In this post, I want to share with you our peer editing checklist for training writers and editors to become the best they can be, and creating stellar blog content.

Let’s go!

P.S: Scroll right to the bottom for an interactive version of this checklist!
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How to Make Software Rollout Easier for You and Your Team

The following is a guest post from Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing. An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion.

software rollout

Without software, you’d be hand-writing purchase orders, using a Rolodex for a CRM, and doing your newsletters via smoke signal.

Alright, maybe that last one is a little far-fetched, but there’s no denying that in the business world, technology is absolutely necessary and enables amazing things.

…But not everyone on your team gets enthusiastic about the prospect of learning a new tool. Even if that tool will help them improve productivity, do a better job, and escape the white-collar equivalent of hard manual labor.

IBM research on the barriers to software adoption (Source)

Your goal when rolling out software is always the same: to help your business improve operations, boost efficiency, and enable sales. These days that means staying up to date on technological trends as well.

Deciding which tool is right for you will always hinge on fundamentals, like whether it can automate your vendor payments, purchase orders, employee onboarding, lead management, etc. However, there are other considerations, such as whether your solution integrates with cloud software and is responsive on mobile devices.

But, even after you’ve selected the solution perfect for your operation and your employees – after all the sales demos, comparison docs, and review reading – you’ll find it’s that the human element that trips you up.

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What I Learned Evolving My Startup’s Team Structure (Featuring Lego)

The following is a guest post from Brett Farmiloe. Brett is the CEO of digital marketing company, Markitors, and advisor to career resource, Organizational Leadership Degrees. He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Forbes, and also enjoys tending his backyard vegetable patch.

startup team structure

Workplace structure.

What popped into your mind after reading those words? A large office building with hundreds of employees and multiple layers of management? Something gargantuan and sluggish?

That is certainly how I pictured the classic workplace structure, especially before starting my own company. Now I truly understand that all businesses, no matter how small, have a set structure of who reports to who – and for good reason. While it may sound unnecessarily methodical and plodding, it adds an element of organization to your organization.

Something I learned through years of trial and error was that organizational structures are a fluid beast – they need to evolve and grow as your company does.

Below are some of my tips for ensuring the success and longevity of your business, with lessons from Lego, Zappos, and my own company.

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9 Places to Find The Best Copywriting Examples for Your Swipe File

Copywriting Examples

Your boss has just asked you to write an email telling your customers their free trial has ended and encouraging them to upgrade to premium.

Where do you start? What do these emails look like? If you had a swipe file, you’d have a reference point straight away.

Swipe files are collections of material kept by creatives for easy reference, consisting of great material you can learn from. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably want to start making one and be prepared for your next assignment.

It’s best to amass your swipe file as you go, quickly adding quality copywriting examples when you see them and tagging for easy reference. Keep reading to find out how to do this using Evernote. But first, let’s look at where you can find awesome material to get started.

Swiped.co

While relatively new, Swiped is actively archiving a large selection of new and classic ads, emails, pop-ups, sales letters, direct mail examples and more.

If you’ve already got some material for your swipe file, go ahead and upload it to Swiped! It survives on user uploads and is an amazing labor of love by Mike Schauer.

Swiped Copywriting Examples Home Page

It was created because archives of ads are sparse, and if you’re a copywriter or advertisers without a hefty swipe file you’ll have to rely on the rare chance that someone has uploaded the advert you want to reference somewhere on the web.

As it turns out, most people don’t really like ads that much. More often than not, you won’t find what you’re looking for.
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How to Host a Website on Google Drive for Free

How to Host a Website on Google Drive for Free

We’re a big fan of cloud services on this blog, and Vinay has written on Process Street about Dropbox vs Google Drive in the past as well as a great guide on how to migrate to the cloud.

If you’re wondering how to host a website on Google Drive for free, well, I just did (and it took me 2 minutes!) so I’ll tell you all about it.

Even though the new Google Drive has made it harder to host websites, there’s still a pretty easy workaround I came across. It comes in the form of a Google Script written by an expert in the field, Amit Agarwal. First I’ll show you this way — the easy way — then I’ll explain how you can do it without the script.

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