All posts in Tech & Startups


Marketing Agency vs. Marketing Consultant: Which is Better for Project Managers?

marketing agency vs marketing consultant

Jaron Soh is Co-founder and COO at Traktion, the platform that makes hiring for growth simpler, agile, and more profitable for businesses.

According to a recent survey by The Digital Project Manager, the two biggest project management challenges of 2020 can be neatly summarised as people problems and project problems.

If that sounds a little vague, let’s get specific. 27% of those surveyed experienced challenges with their project stakeholders (i.e. people), while 24% encountered challenges with budgets and deadlines (you guessed it, project).

Thinking about this within the context of a marketing project, it’s easy to get distracted by those project-related concerns, wondering: “How do I deliver this on time and on budget?”

Well, here’s the thing… In my experience, you’re asking yourself the wrong question.

When it comes to marketing, don’t focus solely on the “how”; make sure you look at the “who”, too.

There’s a people problem to overcome. Ask who you should use to help deliver your marketing project on time and on budget; a solo marketing consultant, or a full-blown marketing agency? To answer that, you need to understand how they differ from one another, and the scenarios in which to use them.

In this Process Street post, we help you do just that. Here we explore:

Ready? Let’s dive in.
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Human Capital Theory: Still Relevant or Woefully Outdated for Our Knowledge Economy?

Human Capital Theory Still Relevant or Woefully Outdated for Our Knowledge Economy

“Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work.” – Kevin Hassett

In May 2020, White House advisor Kevin Hassett drew public ire by referring to the American workforce as “human capital stock.” US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserted the term was not only outdated but inherently racist.

This raised a very important question for employers: How do you measure the output of your employees without treating them like cattle?

In addition to questions about the potential for dehumanizing employees, contemporary theorists question whether or not human capital theory – a product of the mid-20th century manufacturing economy – still has a place in our 21st-century knowledge economy.

In a knowledge economy, an employee’s output is intellectual rather than physical. Human capital theory originated during what is considered a manufacturing economy. As a result, it’s optimized for measuring physical output.

At a clothespin factory, a worker’s productivity is judged by how many pins they produce a day. There’s an established length of time it should take to make a faultless pin. That pin is an example of physical output. At the end of the day, you can count that worker’s pins and have a fairly good idea of their productivity.

A knowledge worker, however, doesn’t produce physical output; a knowledge worker produces intellectual output. I’ll go into this in more detail further on, but – in terms of human capital theory – the question is: how do you know how many “pins” a knowledge worker makes per day?

Obviously, knowledge workers are still given a wage, generally factored according to their value to the company (experience, education, etc.); in other words, using the principles of human capital theory.

But is this an accurate reflection of that employee’s worth? Are knowledge workers being undervalued because their productivity isn’t linked to the number of hours they work? Should intellectual and physical output still be measured on the same scale? Can they be weighed by the same scale?

More to the point, if human capital theory has outlived its usefulness, what language should we be using to describe an employee’s value? Is it fair to consider employees part of a company’s assets?

In this Process Street post, I aim to investigate these questions and explore ways in which the 21st-century employer can assess employees in terms of company value without objectifying the individual contributions.

Let’s delve deeper.
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How Content Allies Saves $5000 a Month Using Process Street To Manage Their Core Operations

How Content Allies Saves $5000 a Month Using Process Street-01 (1)Content Allies is a B2B podcast networking service which seeks to empower clients by helping them build meaningful relationships and grow their customer base. Podcasts are used as a key marketing channel.

We spoke to CEO Jake Jorgovan to find out how Content Allies uses Process Street to slash business costs, improve efficiency, and drive business growth.
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How to Use Slack to be 31% More Productive With These 5 Expert Tips (18 in Total!)

slack tips

I hate email.

Who really likes answering emails? You get into work, switch everything on, and right off the bat there’s an inbox full of company memos, check-ins from your line manager, updates from colleagues, reminders for meeting after meeting after meeting…

It’s not a great way to start the day, amiright?

Well – and I am totally going to gloat about this – that’s just not how we roll at Process Street. If you’ve hung around us for five minutes, you’re probably aware that we are Slack superfans here on the Street. All of our company communication happens through Slack, and it’s been life-changing.

I’m not just saying this to stir up envy, though. Being such Slack aficionados, we’ve figured out how to use Slack features to increase productivity, improve collaboration, and just plain make our day-to-day easier.

I’ve broken them down into three easy sections, so no matter your level, you can jump straight to the tips you need – and hey, no one’s gonna judge if you want a little refresher!

Ready to dive in?
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The Importance of Core Values: How to Captivate Customers & Compel Teams

importance of core values

“Well-defined values don’t sound like the safe platitudes of a Hallmark card”Patrick M. Lencioni, Management guru

Lencioni also wrote that “Most values statements are bland, toothless, or just plain dishonest. [They] create cynical and dispirited employees, alienate customers, and undermine managerial credibility.”

For early stage startups, formal value statements are multi-functional; they should help your team understand and act on your internal best practices and empower them to make decisions that will benefit the company as a whole.

These values are the boundaries within which your business will operate in pursuit of its goals, and set the tone for day-to-day operations.

Think of core values as one of the three pillars of principle holding up your business operations; the other two being mission and vision.

In this Process Street article, we’ll explore why core values are important, how they align with mission and vision, and some examples of core values from other companies.

We’ve also got some statements from our own team about how they live and act on our own internal values in their day-to-day work.

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Ditch Scrum! 3 Shape Up Processes & Checklists to 5x Your Dev Cycle

Shape-Up-processes
We’ve cut our development cycle by 70% since making the move to Shape Up.

This alternative development method is a breath of fresh air from all things Scrum, Agile, Kanban, Scrumban, Fake Agile, Bad Agile… you get my drift.

What started off as Basecamp‘s internal approach to developing and shipping software at lightning speed, has become a clearly written (and illustrated), freely contributed, and easily accessible e-book: Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters.

Although I sincerely recommend you read the book, this post is here to save you from studying the 143 pages of text by providing you with three nifty checklist templates. The checklists take you through the Shape Up process and its 3 key phases: Shaping, betting, and building.

In this post, I’ll briefly touch on the fundamental concepts of Shape Up’s approach. I’ll also introduce each of the phases and their corresponding checklist.

Let’s get shaping!
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Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

When I was still teaching, the three main points of advice I found myself repeating were:

  1. Take your time.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

As it turns out, those three statements apply to most things in life – including business. Especially business.

I know. We’ve been in an era of calculated risk, mainlining entrepreneurial spirit, and the pervasive (-ly annoying) go-big-or-go-home philosophy for so long that “going above and beyond” isn’t even status quo; it’s bare minimum requirements.

Hear me out.

No matter what else you’re doing with your company, you have to take care of your customers. You have to understand them: what they want, what they need, and what they will need down the road.

That understanding of your customer and their relationship with your product is a crucial aspect of becoming a successful product-oriented business.

So you’ve read our previous post on product-led growth (PLG) and now know all the nuts and bolts of a PLG go-to-market strategy. It’s a super-exciting concept and exactly the direction you’ve wanted to take your company in.

But. (There’s always a “but.”)

Your business – the entire customer lifecycle every user of your product goes through – revolves around the traditional sales-led approach of painstakingly coaxing every customer through each step of the sales cycle from demo to trial to paying user.

You can’t go in tomorrow morning, clear out all your established processes, and tell your sales team: Right, we’re totally changing everything right this second. Even if your sales team doesn’t laugh you out of the office, it’s not going to work.

So how do you navigate that transition and maintain your success?

I didn’t know the answer to that, so for this Process Street post, I went straight to the horse’s mouth (🐴) and asked PLG champ, author, and founder Wes Bush about how to make PLG work and become a successful, product-oriented company.

Let’s get started!
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Business Plan vs. Business Proposal: What’s The Difference?

Business Plan vs. Business Proposal What’s The DifferenceSeema is a Product Expert at Revv, a leading document management software and eSignature company that provides business document templates that help run your business. She believes in the power of words and storytelling and loves spending her time creating exciting and knowledgeable content of the SaaS world. When not working, you can often find her watching adorable pups videos, or experimenting with recipes!

“Ok, so you sell things.”

Well, honestly, I wasn’t surprised or peeved at the half-baked knowledge of my friend’s father when he made a snap judgment and conveniently labeled my marketing profession as sales.

After all, this wasn’t my first time when someone tagged me as a salesperson. So, I took a deep breath and explained to him how sales are different from marketing.

We, humans, dwell in a herd mentality and hone our word skills from our surroundings. Sometimes, we are simply careless, sometimes oblivious, but most of the time, we actually don’t know that the word has a different meaning.

This can be ignored in a casual conversation, but using the wrong words in a business space can change the implied meaning and lead to miscommunication. For example, cost vs. price, digitization vs. digitalization, warranty vs. guarantee, machine learning vs. artificial intelligence, etc.

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” C. S. Lewis

This Process Street guest post untangles the confusion between two crucial terms – business plan and business proposal. These are used interchangeably in the business world, but their meaning and application are pretty different.

Words are the building blocks of communication. There is a French phrase for using the right word – le mot juste.

Let us strive for le mot juste!

Hop on and be a part of this fantabulous journey.

Here we go! 🚀
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An Interview with Ivy: Shape Up From a Product Designer’s Perspective

shape ups design processI wrote a post about Shape Up, a development methodology, and you the reader wanted me to dive deeper. So, I did just that and interviewed Process Street’s Product Designer, Ivy.

Ivy answers common questions concerning how Shape Up works in practice, and although I briefly touch on the core phases of Shape Up’s approach, this post should be seen as a follow up to my original post which provides a full low-down of what Shape Up is and how it differs from alternative development methods like Scrum and Kanban.

So, make sure to read my last post on Shape Up so you have all the context you need for this post.

In this post, we’ll be covering:

Let’s kick things off with a brief re-cap of Shape Up’s key phases 🚀.
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When You Need an HR Team and How to Build One Effectively

When You Need an HR Team and How to Build One Effectively

It’s 4:55 on a sunny Friday afternoon. You have a whole weekend of relaxing in the backyard planned. Maybe you’ll have friends over for a barbecue, or finally finish that crime thriller you started last year and forgot about. There’s always that super-extended director’s cut of a film from four years ago that just came out.

You’re blissfully contemplating all your stress-free options when your line manager pops their head in and cheerily says, “HR wants to see you first thing Monday morning. Have a great weekend!”

It's all fun and games until someone calls HR
(Source)

The truth is, the role of HR teams – and even the name – has evolved quite a bit over the years, though its reputation hasn’t been quite so quick to keep up. People Teams, as all the start-ups are calling it these days, still have a vital role to play in the structure and organization of a company, though.

So, when is it time to create a super team-up for your start-up? More importantly, how do you do it?

I sat down with Process Street’s own VP of People, Jay Hanlon, to talk:

Come on in and have a seat!
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