How to request a reference

Feedback is a gift, so the saying goes, and we could always use more of it. But, as another popular saying goes, “if you don’t ask…”

So, if we want up-to-date feedback from our clients then in order to get it, we need to ask for it! We have lots of happy customers so let’s hear what they have to say so that we can shout about it. We do also want to hear how we can improve so that with each project, we can continue to get better and better.

How do we ask for a reference without sounding too cheesy about it? If we make it a standard part of the end of the project, then it won’t sound cheesy at all. Here’s a sample email:

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re well.

We’re so pleased to have launched your new site [this week/last week], and have enjoyed working with you. We hope that you have also enjoyed working with us!

We’d really appreciate if you could spare a few minutes to give us some honest feedback on what you thought of the service we provided, and how we could do even better. If you’re happy to, would you mind answering a few questions for us using the form below?

What Do You Think?

Any testimonials are featured on our testimonials page

Many thanks in advance for any feedback you can share!

Feel free to copy and paste and/or adapt to your own personal style to send once your project is complete. You could wrap this up with the standard end of project email, or send it separately with a more personal message depending on your relationship with the client.

Happy reference requesting!

 

Redbooth – A Wholegrain Guide

Redbooth is a great tool for task tracking but task lists can easily grow and become disorganised quite quickly. Everyone has there own way of working and by moving from different project workspaces you may notice that the workflow can greatly differ. This can cause a lot of confusion when working on multiple projects so it is best to standardise this workflow so that no matter what project you are working on you can easily know the status of it by looking a the related workspace in redbooth.

Workspaces

As a rule there should be one workspace per project/website. This means you can easily see for each individual project what tasks need to be actioned. So for if the same client has multiple websites you should create multiple workspaces.

Workspace Access

It is important that we control who has access to a workspace. If a client is given access to the workspace then the flow of tasks should be properly explained to the client. The most important reason for this is that they don’t add tasks directly to the active task list without talking to a Project Manager first. For all workspaces please add the Team Genie.

Task Lists

Inside a workspace tasks should be split into task lists. For each task list the project manager and developer have different responsibilities.

One of the most important responsibilities is that Project Managers should be the only user who marks a task as complete. To confirm developers do not tick items off as complete they should move items they have finished working on to the ‘Awaiting approval’ list.

 

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The task lists are:

Tasks (Active)

This is the task list for all active tasks. Tasks should be ordered from top the bottom with the most important tasks at the top.

Key points:

  • A task for  PM Time and Other Time should be including in this column (at the bottom) to log any extra time that does not fit within a task.
  • Developers & Project Managers should work on tasks from the top of the task list down.
  • Once a development task has been finished then the task should be moved to the awaiting approval list

Future

Developers and Project Managers can add tasks into this list that have been requested by the client. These are requests that have not been given to go ahead to be actioned.

Key points:

  • Developers should not actively develop on tasks on this list
  • Project Managers are responsible for moving tasks to tasks(active) list when a task has been given the go ahead

Awaiting approval

This task list should contain all the tasks that are awaiting the Project Managers and Clients QA. If a task is approved as complete then the Project Manager then moves the task to the Completed task list. If the task after checking is not complete the task is moved back to the active tasks list.

Completed

You may ask why theres a task list for Completed tasks when you can just mark a task off as completed. The reason for this is so that all the completed tasks are in one place rather then have completed tasks scattered across the lists. This means that if you need to look at the completed task in the future you can easily just look in one place.

As mentioned before only Project Managers should move tasks to the completed task list. Once they have moved the task to the completed list they can the mark the task as complete.

Urgent Tasks

Redbooth has a great feature to mark tasks as urgent. Though this should not be over used. High priority items can be placed at the top of the active task list so there is no need to mark these as urgent. As a rule a task should only be marked as urgent if the piece of work is so important the developer should stop what they are currently working on to quickly resolve the task. There are only two scenarios where this may be the case:

  • Bug that is breaking a live site
  • Due to unforeseen problems we are have a high risk of going over a important deadline so we need emergency development help.

When a urgent task does occur it is important that you contact the Project Manager for the project the developer is currently working on so they are also aware there will be a delay on a project due to an urgent task.

Time Tracking

Time should be added on tasks. This can be done by using the time spent option on the comments section of  a task. This can be added as tasks are actioned or at the end of the day in bulk but the main goal is that by the following morning we can easily see the hours spent for each project so we know if a project is going over the estimated amount of time.

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Task Priority

Other then urgent tasks (as defined earlier) all projects will be given a priority.  This priority will be shown in a google spreadsheet. When a developer moves onto a new task they should always start tasks from higher priority projects first.

Starter Task List

As a quick way to get a project started on redbooth you can import template task lists. If you go to the add task list section you see a cog icon. Click this and it will open a dialog.
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In this dialog select the ‘Starter Task List’ which contains some standard tasks for all new sites. It also contains a project timeline task which will allow you to track the projects progress. Name the task list ‘Active Tasks’.

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Once you have added the new task list you can delete the default task list (making sure to move all tasks). You can do this by going to the pencil icon on the task list and clicking delete.

 

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