Firstly, let me introduce myself. I’m Holly, the new Delivery Manager at Drew LDN. If you'd like to know more about my recent move to London and my search for the right agency, you might be interested in reading this post first. I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been getting up to in my first week.
It’s only natural to feel nervous on your first day but as soon as I opened the door, I was met with the warmest of welcomes.
My computer was set-up and ready to go. The wifi password written on a post-it and a file on my desktop with all the other passwords I needed to get started. As well as a notepad, pen, sharpie, office keys and business cards.
I started by logging into my email, I had been sent invites to all the tools they use as well as a copy of my contract and the company handbook.
Stephen talked me through how they use Trello and Free Agent. He said to treat my first week as a “discovery week”, observing how they currently work and getting to know the team. Agencies champion “discovery” phases in projects so it makes sense that we should do the same with onboarding new employees.
We then all went out for Nando’s for lunch!
The afternoon consisted of the following
- Shannon showed me how to create new job codes
- Joe gave me a tour of the office
- Joe and Nadeem told me about the plan for Christmas (no spoilers!)
- Nadeem took some time out to talk me through one of Drew’s key clients i.e. key meetings, contacts, current velocity
- Stephen discussed causal loops with me
The day starts off with standup. I love how when a team member nominates someone else to give their scrum update they start by asking “how they are”. It’s simple but feels genuine.
Shannon mentioned in standup that she’s going to be working on putting together a structure for a talk she’s giving in a couple of weeks. After standup she asked if I’d like to join her and Stephen. Stephen facilitates a brainstorming session using the ‘yes and’ principle where you build a story based on other people's idea. So someone writes one idea, passes their sheet of paper round and then
the next person adds to it.
I then arranged a call with Stevo, a remote developer who works for Drew. He joined our Skype call from Hong Kong, naively I asked him what he was planning to do today, not realizing it was about 6pm there! We had a good chat and he gave me a great overview of what he’s currently working on.
I then started digesting some brilliant handover notes left from Cathy which gave me a great overview of the current process and weekly meetings, it was really helpful for her to say where she thought improvements could be made and where things were generally working well.
In the afternoon, I joined a call with a copywriter who will be working with us on a new project. It was amazing to see James convey the brand and the copywriter starts to translate that into a tone of voice.
Drew founders are also founders of Camerados, a social enterprise committed to ending social isolation. So I spent the day helping another member of the team organizing marketing collateral to distribute.
I facilitated standup for the first time! I did a memory test at the end to see if people remembered each other’s commitment for the day, without fail everyone, could repeat what their team members were doing today! I’ve tried this with other teams and no team has listened quite as attentively to each other’s updates as this one!
During standup, Nadeem and Joe announced that they had made a music player where anyone in the office can add music to a playlist which plays through the office sound system. You can also skip other people’s song and see what’s currently playing. It’s pretty ace so I spent a bit of my morning user testing aka playing around with it. Impressive stuff!
I then attended my first Drewnion meeting, a weekly meeting run by the team. I think it’s a brilliant idea, it provides the space to share concerns and support each other in any problems they might be having. Kerry facilitated an agenda-less meeting. It involved 3 post-its,
- To discuss
The team then added things they’d like to talk about under ‘To discuss’ and then talked through them one by one. We talked about plans for Christmas, the new music app, the blog as well as a few other things. It was great to spend some quality time with the team.
On Friday’s the Drew team all work the same hours 9.30–4.30pm. A nice short day!
During standup, I introduced hands up reffing to tighten up the standups. In short, if two or more people raise their hands when someone is talking the person speaking is prompted to finish off what they’re talking about and continue the conversation with only the people directly affected afterwards.
I was then invited to join a call with a new client to review some different branding routes and talk through the tone of voice. I was really impressed with how James (Creative Director) facilitated this meeting, by the end of it, we had got the client to sign off on a logo and type face. Success!
At lunch I popped out to meet new Twitter friend Alyson, I got in touch with her when I saw she was giving away some cool free stickers. It was a brief encounter but lovely to hear a bit about her and the inspiration behind the sticker message.
After lunch, I shared the actions from the meeting before lunch and sat down with James to discuss resourcing. We’ll be working together to look at how we can improve how we visualise project timescales and milestones to ensure we avoid conflicts and everyone is aware of what each other is working on.
The afternoon ended with a weekly planning meeting where we reviewed the status of projects currently being worked on. I came out of it with a great overview of the current client base and a focus for what to prioritise for the coming week.
True to word, just after 4.30pm the team wrapped up what they were working on and headed to the pub for a celebratory Friday drink, a great way to bring a close to a brilliant first week. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer team, they’re extremely open to trying new things and patient with me as I work out the ropes. I'm excited about working with such a talented kind bunch.
Weekly coffee notes
Every week I’m going to try a new coffee shop. This week was a flat white from Look Mum No Hands, it wasn’t as strong as I would have liked but was hot and a nice flavour. 4*.