Intro to Jira

Hi Marketing Team,

As many of you have heard by now we are transitioning to Jira in the coming weeks. Jira will replace fogbugz as our project management tool here in marketing. As we transition I will keep you all updated on which teams will be transition when so you can start diving in and utilizing Jira.

You will find login instructions below and here is a link to the user guide.

Please take the time to read the below information regarding the transition.

To give you a little more information and to answer a few questions that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Is Marketing the only department switching to Jira? We as a company are transitioning to using Jira. Eventually fogbugz will be replaced all together and we will no longer be using it.
  2. How will this effect working with other departments? As we have transitioned to more of a line of business model here at Faithlife there will be more opportunities to work on projects with other departments. Jira will be a great tool in which we can work on cross department projects with other teams.
  3. Are we required to use Jira? What if we like what we are doing? As much as possible we ask that each team and individual use Jira for all of their projects and tasks.
    1. Why, you might ask? A few great benefits of Jira:

i.     Everything for your project is in one place. You will no longer have to add everything to the wiki, asana, google docs. (This doesn’t mean that we won’t use these tools anymore, but the amount of duplication and where you need to add information will become less repetitive.)

ii.     Management will be able to pull reports from Jira, decreasing the number of reports you will need to turn in or fill out on a weekly basis, giving you more time to work on your projects.

iii.     Time Tracking will become a lot easier!! We will be switching to a monthly time tracking system with time tracking by project for LARGE projects.

iv.     Jira is more user friendly than fogbugz.

How does this affect you now?

  1. You will want to set aside sometime over the next few weeks to get familiar with Jira, go through the user manual and attend the training that you are scheduled for.
  2. Any projects you have in fogbugz will be migrated over to Jira in the next 6 weeks at which point you will be working solely out of Jira.
  3. You will need to work in both Fogbugz and Jira until all teams has been transitioned. As much as possible we ask that once a team is transitioned you enter any new requests in Jira rather than fogbugz.
  4. Any projects that are not in Jira will need to be put in manually by you.
  5. As teams transition over you will need to start submitting your request in Jira (even if your team is still working in fogbugz and hasn’t been transitioned over).

A few terms to familiarize yourself with:

  1. Issue: An issue is equivalent to a parent case in fogbugz
  2. Project: A project is equivalent to a project in fogbugz (For example our current projects in fogbugz are: Marketing Projects: Logos, Marketing Projects: Ecommerce, Marketing Technology Team, etc.)
  3. Task or Sub-Task: A task or sub-task are equivalent to a child case in fogbugz

 

How to Login:

You all currently should have access to Jira. If you are unable to login please let me know.

To login, follow these instructions:

Go here:  https://faithlife.atlassian.net/login (you may want to bookmark this)

  1. Your username is everything in front of the @ on your faithlife email address.
  2. If you don’t have a password, click unable to access your account, and you will be prompted to create a password.

As you start exploring the tool, know that we are still making changes and these changes will continue to take place over the next 6 weeks as we get everyone transitioned over. Please be patient and ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure how to do something connect with your team lead first, if they don’t know the answer then feel free to reach out to me.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.

Thanks!

 

Kirsten

No meeting Tuesdays plus….

On Jan 14, 2014, at 11:33 AM, Krista Veteto <krista.veteto@logos.com>

wrote:

Hi Marketing Department,

We spend a lot of time in meetings. Sometimes in meetings I think about how many hours the company is investing in a discussion. For example: this morning I was in a meeting with 13 people for 30 minutes. That one meeting represents 6.5 hours of company time!

For 2014 we want to optimize  meetings. Here are the first 3 steps we’re taking in that direction:

1.       We’re going to continue no meeting Tuesdays

2.       We’re going to start have 1 week per quarter with no meetings. This no meeting week will be the last full week of the quarter whenever possible.

o   Q1: no meeting week will be 3/24-3/28.

o   Q2: no meeting week will be 6/23-6/27.

o   Q3: no meeting week will be 9/22-9/26.

o   Q4: no meeting week will be 12/15-12/21.

3.       Meeting requests need to include an agenda.

If you’re invited to a meeting without an agenda or during our “no meeting” times you are allowed (and even encouraged) to decline the request. We want to build a culture of investing our time in the most effective way possible.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have meetings.

Sometimes meetings are the most effective way to get a group of people on the same page. Some things that are worth a bigger investment in 2014:

  • Getting all project stakeholders in the room at the same time to hash through a decision or get approval on art.
  • Having a project rollout with everyone involved in the project including the project stakeholders (so any objections/concerns can be addressed before we start executing).
  • Getting everyone in the same room when there is confusion or disagreement over the next step on a project.

Next Step

I’ll be following up with an email (and/or an in person training) with an example of a great meeting invite agenda and pointers on opening, managing/controlling, closing and following up on meetings.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Josh or myself).

Krista Veteto

Marketing Operations Manager

360-398-5162, krista.veteto@logos.com

 

No meeting Tuesdays plus…

From: Krista Veteto
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 11:33 AM
To: Marketing Dept
Subject: No meeting Tuesdays plus…

Hi Marketing Department,

We spend a lot of time in meetings. Sometimes in meetings I think about how many hours the company is investing in a discussion. For example: this morning I was in a meeting with 13 people for 30 minutes. That one meeting represents 6.5 hours of company time!

For 2014 we want to optimize  meetings. Here are the first 3 steps we’re taking in that direction:

  1. We’re going to continue no meeting Tuesdays
  2. We’re going to start have 1 week per quarter with no meetings. This no meeting week will be the last full week of the quarter whenever possible.
  • Q1: no meeting week will be 3/24-3/28.
  • Q2: no meeting week will be 6/23-6/27.
  • Q3: no meeting week will be 9/22-9/26.
  • Q4: no meeting week will be 12/15-12/21
  • 3.       Meeting requests need to include an agenda.

If you’re invited to a meeting without an agenda or during our “no meeting” times you are allowed (and even encouraged) to decline the request. We want to build a culture of investing our time in the most effective way possible.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have meetings.

Sometimes meetings are the most effective way to get a group of people on the same page. Some things that are worth a bigger investment in 2014:

  • Getting all project stakeholders in the room at the same time to hash through a decision or get approval on art.
  • Having a project rollout with everyone involved in the project including the project stakeholders (so any objections/concerns can be addressed before we start executing).
  • Getting everyone in the same room when there is confusion or disagreement over the next step on a project.

Next Step

I’ll be following up with an email (and/or an in person training) with an example of a great meeting invite agenda and pointers on opening, managing/controlling, closing and following up on meetings.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Josh or myself).

Krista Veteto

Marketing Operations Manager

360-398-5162, krista.veteto@logos.com

 

Two Changes You Need To Be Aware Of

Hello Marketing Department,

Your in-house technology team would like to take a minute to let the department know about two changes that will help you perform your jobs more efficiently.

1)       Please do not uncheck the “Use SSL” option in any of the Wistia video embed methods.  You can change the other settings to suit your video needs, but unchecking this one option will prevent your video from playing on logos.com.  Logos.com now uses the https protocol which allows only secure content to be displayed.  Unchecking this option will cause your video to be blocked from being retrieved to your web page by our servers—see screen shot below.

Why does this image need a description?

2)       In an effort to make sure that we continue to provide you with the best service and write the best code possible, we’re now going to need two weeks notice when putting anything up on logos.com.  This change doesn’t affect things like copy edits or modifications to any existing page—it only affects brand new content.

By making this change we’re ensuring that any new code we write is getting in with the development team’s revision process. That way, what we’re doing doesn’t conflict with what they’re doing and vice versa.  I know this change may make life a little difficult at first, but in the long run it will help all of us plan better and it will reduce the possibility of creating bugs on logos.com.

If you have any questions about either of these changes please feel free to submit an inquiry via Fogbugz to the Marketing Technology team.

Dennis Terrell
Marketing Technologies

SEO-friendly URLs

The page for Pastor Appreciation Month is at https://www.logos.com/pam. This isn’t the best URL for SEO, since people are searching for some variant of pastor appreciation, not PAM.

Let’s make sure to craft our URLs for maximum search traffic.

Out of these four examples, the last is the best:

  1. https://www.logos.com/pam
  2. https://www.logos.com/pastorappreciationmonth
  3. https://www.logos.com/pastor_appreciation_month
  4. https://www.logos.com/pastor-apprecation-month

Here are some articles for reference:

  1. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/76329: “Consider using punctuation in your URLs. . . . We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.”
  2. http://moz.com/learn/seo/url: “Use hyphens to separate words when necessary for readability. They should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words.”

Thanks!

Phil

MyFaithApps Bis Opp

From: Dan Pritchett
To: Marketing Dept

Something to think about… no need to respond.

When you got this email from Bill, did you:

A) Delete it—because he sent it to way too many people and it is not your job to deal with this.

B) Check out the site—because it sounded interesting/you were curious.

C) Sign up for the site’s email list, because you never know what other new things an email from someone in the Christian Apps category might introduce you to for partnerships, market awareness, advertising leads, email promo trades, marketing ideas, new product launches, competitive research, actionable industry news, blog ideas, product ideas, marketing insight, continuing education…

D) Look up the site, sign up for the email list, watch the video, notice it uses a song that sounds very familiar, found Terrence, his phone number, his job, his company, and where he lives (definitively him, not just a guess).

If you did D you are thinking like me, wow that’s cool/crazy I like to hear about that!  🙂  (I realize It is probably overkill for most people, but I have a compulsion to research which is stronger than most I admit.)

If you did B, C, then A congratulations! Great job! You’re thinking like a marketer! I love it! (Feel free to brag to me and let me know)   🙂

If you just did A, read over the benefits of C and consider the usefulness and reasoning behind B and C, and see how that could apply to your position even if it is not directly your job.

If you are stumped as to how signing up for this list could be useful in your particular job function, give me a shot to see if I can figure out an application for you. I’ll bet I can find one.

Takeaway message:  Junk mail, SPAM, email broadcasts, email lists… are a gold mine of ideas, leads, contacts and cash if you think of them as serving you for your purposes and stop thinking of them as an annoyance or interruption to your day. I am signed up for more lists than you would believe, and can get literally hundreds of emails per day. Over the years I have found these lists an invaluable source of business/ideas/contacts/sales opportunities… so getting Bill’s email which has nothing to do with my particular job, could introduce me to a whole new world, because Bill’s misdirected email was a lead to me that put me on to potentially hundreds of other leads, and they in turn… you get the idea…  It is all a matter of perspective, and what you do with it.

Extra credit:  If, before hearing about this email you actually looked up Terrence Johnson in Businessdesk, looked up myfaithapps in Businessdesk, searched his domain records, you deserve a gold star!

Extra Extra Credit: If you can definitively discover on your own what town and state Terrence lives in—in under five minutes with no help—you get ice cream. No guesses, you have to prove that it is actually the same guy with documentation to back it up.

 Dan Pritchett, Executive Vice President

Logos Bible Software
1313 Commercial St., Bellingham WA 98225-4307
Voice (360) 685-2335 FAX (360) 527-1707  dan@logos.com
http://www.logos.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/danpritchett
Twitter: @DanPritchett

 

From: Bill Schwartz

To: Marketing Dept

From Sales Inbox.  Didn’t know where to send this.  Thanks.

Bill Schwartz

Logos Bible Software – Direct Sales Representative

 

From: Terrence Johnson
To: Logos Customer Service

Hi,

My name is Terrence, founder of the MyFaithApps app store. The reason for me contacting you today is that I came across your app doing research on faith based apps and developers. I would like to send you more information about the MyFaithApps app store as I would like to get your apps in our store. If you have any questions please contact me via email/

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

CEO/Founder MyFaithApps

Terrence

No-Meeting Tuesdays

From: Phil Gons
To: Marketing Dept

We’re going to try as a department to keep Tuesdays free of scheduled meetings. Meetings can be great, but large blocks of time are essential for productivity. More and more of us are in meetings a large portion of the week. When those meetings are peppered throughout the week, we’re often not able to get much done before the next meeting begins.

Please do your best to clear your calendars on Tuesdays of any regularly recurring meetings. Try not to schedule meetings with others on Tuesdays, and hopefully they’ll return the favor. Collaboration and informal conversations are certainly fine. Let’s just try to keep our calendars as clear as possible on Tuesdays.

Thanks!

Phil

Pitching makes a huge difference

The intern hack-a-thon taught me a lot about the importance of constantly growing the skill of pitching.

Learning how to pitch can make a huge difference in your career.

You can use pitching skills to:

  • Drive customers to open emails, click on buttons and place orders
  • Get approval for, and excitement about, your ideas
  • Persuade others that your project or request deserves more focus or a higher priority (or that it should be canceled)
  • Recruit awesome people to join our team
  • Convince a publisher to let us put their books into our format
  • Ask for  a promotion and/or a raise

The intern hack-a-thon: pitching skills can make or break it

As a marketing mentor for the intern hack-a-thon I had the opportunity to to hear three versions of almost every team’s pitches:

1. Friday at lunch they gave pitches to recruit team members

  • As I watched groups formed I realized that convincing the right team member to join a team could make or break the team’s success.
  • The max team size was five members. There was a team that started with two members and didn’t recruit anyone else through their initial pitch. They ended up being the only team that was not able to demonstrate a working prototype.

2. Saturday morning I met with most of the teams about their product pitches

  • Two of the teams sent me stuff to review ahead of time. One team sent me an email the night before asking for data to quantify the potential revenue their product could produce. Another team sent me a written pitch that showed they had really thought through the business and marketing implications of their product.
  • Both of the teams that prepared in advance ended up winning.
  • One team I met with had “something” missing from their product. As we talked we realized it was that the presenter wasn’t passionate about the product.
  • During my meetings it was interesting to see that some teams joined together in crafting their pitches while others delegated it to a single member.

3. Saturday after lunch the interns presented their pitches and demos for the judges

  • It was stressful! The main conference room was filled with tension and excitement.
  • The pitches/demos were timed (4 minutes) with a 1-minute warning. No additional time was given for technical malfunctions.
  • The judges asked questions for 5-6 minutes. The questions were intense and topics included: revenue implications, how revenue estimates were determined, why a specific coding language was used, why an app wasn’t integrated into Faithlife, how long it would take to get the code ready to ship, etc.

Some take aways

  • If others don’t buy-in or join in, you probably need to refine your pitch or come up with a different idea.
  • If you don’t feel passionately about your idea or products others probably won’t either.
  • You can give an excellent pitch and still not win.
  • Pitches don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
  • Presenting pitches with a team is useful because they can answer questions that you can’t.
  • Planning the “go-to-market” pitch with the entire team led to greater insights and better presentations then when the marketers worked on their pitches separately from their teams.

Here’s a few articles I thought were interesting on this subject:

You may also want to check out this video that Jim shared with the interns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mB5VVxWre2M

I’m currently reading Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In and getting ready to start Spin Selling. If anyone wants to do a book discussion group on either one, let me know.

Do you have any other articles (or books) you would recommend?

Do I need to be here?

The purpose of this post is to answer the most important questions when managing your calendar in the workplace, especially at Logos, “do I need to be here?”

With every calendar request you get you need to be asking yourself this question. It can be a difficult question to answer, but an important one to master.

Thoughts on your time and calendar:

  • You are responsible for your own time at work and are trusted to use it wisely. Do not let your calendar control you, control your calendar.
  • “Tentative” and “decline” are perfectly acceptable responses to any calendar request. The key to using them well is to give reasonable and rational reasons of why you will not attend (more on this later).
  • If you need contiguous time during the day to be productive, then mark that off as time unavailable on your calendar. This helps avoid being scheduled for meetings during times that are disruptive to you.
  • Do unto others as… you get it, be respectful of others’ time and calendars and they will be respectful of yours.

So in answering the “do I need to be here” question I offer this handy checklist:

  1. From the meeting title is it something that you KNOW you should attend?
  2. From the meeting description is it something that you THINK you should attend?
  3. From the meeting title or description is it something that you would LIKE to attend?
  4. Is it a mandatory meeting being held by your project lead/team lead/supervisor/manager/vp/ceo?

If you cannot say yes to any of the above, then in reality you probably don’t need to be there. That does not mean you CANNOT attend, that just means you do not NEED to be there. If you answer no or maybe to any or all of the above then use your discretion. Go if you have time and it will not kill your productivity. Otherwise, it is a matter of realizing that you DO NOT need to attend every meeting you are invited to.

Other thoughts and tips:

  • If you get to a meeting and realize you are not useful there, politely excuse yourself. No need to further waste your time.
  • Check to see if you are listed as an optional attendee, if so then even the organizer thinks you may not attend.
  • Triage your calendar everyday (I do it the previous day before I leave). I look through my meetings one last time and decide if I am going to go or not go (see my note below about declining a meeting).
  • Do unto others…It is hard to decide on a meeting if you do not know what it is about. Save everyone’s time and energy. Put a great description of what you will be talking about in the meeting. Sometimes you will realize that a meeting is unnecessary. I often can offer all of the feedback necessary quickly in a response that makes a meeting superfluous (yeah that just happened).

On declining well:

Nothing sucks worse than setting up a meeting, showing up, and no one coming. Why does this happen? Because people don’t offer explanations or mentions that they will not attend. They silently decline (without sending remarks) a meeting and HOPE the organizer notices. Bad form. If you decline or set yourself tentative for a meeting, it helps to tell the organizer why. That way if you are really needed, it gives them a chance to adjust.

Be kind, politely decline.

How much is marketing time worth?

I ran some fresh calculations this morning, and our time is currently worth an average of $33/hr. per person. That includes salary, taxes, benefits, and overhead. Please use this number in your cost analysis and ROI calculations until further notice.

 

Also, let’s factor this number in with reference to the meetings we have. Here are ten suggestions how:

  1. Make sure the meeting is necessary and that the issue can’t be solved more efficiently (through an email, IM, phone call, or quick visit).
  2. Let people know in advance what the meeting is about so they can be prepared and make an informed decision about whether to attend.
  3. Keep the meeting length as short as possible.
  4. Be well prepared, especially if you’re leading the meeting.
  5. Start on time. Take charge, set the agenda, get down to business, and keep things on track and moving quickly.
  6. Invite only the people that need to be there (but don’t invite too few so that the meeting is wasted time).
  7. Give people the opportunity and freedom to be excused if they don’t need to be there. Asked to be excused if you don’t need to be there. Feel free to accept meetings as tentative or decline them.
  8. End meetings on time. If you’ve covered everything you need to cover, end the meeting early.
  9. For recurring meetings, make sure you’re not having them too frequently.
  10. Regularly audit your calendar to make sure you’re not suffering from meeting creep.

Thanks!

 

Phil