How to Leverage Lean Methodologies for Local SEO


DanLeibson

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Hey all,

I'm a big believer in lean and agile methodologies, so try to incorporate those into our business operations as much as possible. It was really allowed us a great degree of flexibility. It has allowed us to take on more work with fewer people and allows us to improve our processes (and their value to our clients) regularly.

I just had this post go up at Moz and figured it would be valuable to the community:

https://moz.com/ugc/heres-how-were-using-lean-startup-methodologies-for-local-seo
 

ToddB

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What sets LeanKit apart from Trello? We use Trello but I am constantly trying to rework our project management system.
 

DanLeibson

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You should reach out to them and ask for a demo. It is in general much more full featured and customizable then Trello.
 

ToddB

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Will do. Trello just added custom fields and the ability to repeat cards which was a huge win but will gladly check out LeanKit.
 

DanLeibson

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There is no perfect PM system, it's really just about what works for your org and your style. If you want to check out a few more options Podio is realy feature rich as well (honestly a little to much for me).
 
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What are some good example board setups you could share? What kind of layouts have you found positive for your team when you do citation audits, content creation or other non-dev related projects? Also, do you share these boards with clients or just use internally?
 

ToddB

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I used to use Podio and loved it. The things you can do with it are amazing once you connect it with globiflow. However it became too much. Ended up having a ton of questions from our team about it continuously so we moved on.

I watched the 20 minute video on LeanKit and it definitely seems more robust than trello.

I have one question maybe you can answer. Is there a way to have a master board where you can get an overview of every board? If each client has a board, I'd love to be able to see the doing now, under review, etc. under one board and be able to operate it. For trello have to folow the card then view all the cards you are following but it doesn't break it down by list.
 

DanLeibson

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Sorry guys, been traveling/SMX Easting so just getting to this now.

I can't share screenshots of any particular boards as I would have to scrub out to much stuff to make it relevant, but I can definitely talk about it.

Right now we run our board very much like a SCRUM/Agile development project. I have a "New Requests" lane, a "Ready to Start" lane, a lane for each person for their "Doing Now" tasks and a lane for our VA/Contractors. Lastly we have a "Review" lane for sign off on completion.

I actually used to have a board that organized things by clients, but that, to me, became unmanageable and kind of a mess. It's easy enough to arrange things in the "New Requests"/"Ready to Start" lane by client so you can filter down and see what is on deck for each client. This way we are working on individual tasks rather then on individual clients. I find it much more efficient and it has been much more successful for in terms of being able to iterate and improve our operations.

As for a "master board" that you can see all other boards, we just use a single board. But I can see a case where you would want to have a board for citation building/link building/site audits etc. LeanKit lets you create "drill through" relationships where you can link a task on one board, to a card on another board and that would let you keep all the high level tasks in one board, while operationally dealing with it on another board.

Hopefully that helps, happy to answer any other questions.
 

ToddB

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Thanks Dan! I was going to spend some time building out a sample board that would use for a client then figured I'd wait for your response instead. Glad I did because I would have probably wasted my time, I see how the single board would be beneficial.

I have a few questions and am in no hurry for a response. Get back to me on them next week. Enjoy SMX and all it entails.

You let your VA’s see your entire project?
Do you differentiate what card is for which client by tags, card types, something else or nothing?
Do you differentiate the type of task (since you use one board) by tags, card types, something else or nothing?
 

DanLeibson

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You let your VA’s see your entire project?
No, they don't have access to this board, but we do track if tasks are with them via LeanKit

Do you differentiate what card is for which client by tags, card types, something else or nothing?
You can set a filter by card title so if you do something like "Client Name: Task (Month)" you can filter either by clients name or task and see all the cards that match that filter on the entire board.

Do you differentiate the type of task (since you use one board) by tags, card types, something else or nothing?
See above :)
 

Tim Colling

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DanLeibson;85447... You can set a filter by card title so if you do something like "Client Name: Task (Month)" you can filter either by clients name or task and see all the cards that match that filter on the entire board. ...[/QUOTE said:
Dan, do you let your clients view the board online? I'm trying to picture how you would be able to do so, if you use just one board for all your clients.

I *really* like the idea of one board for organizing and managing the projects, though.

Thanks!
 

ToddB

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Nope. If we ever have to interact with a client in a PM system 9/10 it's going to be in their JIRA instance (the 1/10 is in Basecamp). This is for our operations.
Jira Core or Jira Service Desk?

I've never heard of this either until you just mentioned it. Trying to understand how it all ties together.
 

mborgelt

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Great share, Dan. Efficiency in project management can make or break a successful campaign and we're always looking to get leaner and meaner when it comes to our processes. I particularly like the postmortem discussions. Even when things go 100% right (lol) there is something to be learned and often those things go overlooked and agencies miss on real opportunities to improve. Even more opportunity is missed when things go wrong and there is no"knocking of heads" to see what we learned/could have done better.
 

DanLeibson

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Jira Core or Jira Service Desk?

I've never heard of this either until you just mentioned it. Trying to understand how it all ties together.
You are way over thinking it.

Our clients are mainly multi-location brands and agencies so they have their own project management systems that they sometimes want us to use. Our project management system/process is for us internally. There is no real tying together other then that we run our operations like we run our operations and sometimes we have to put updates and deliverables in a clients PM system as well.

Great share, Dan. Efficiency in project management can make or break a successful campaign and we're always looking to get leaner and meaner when it comes to our processes. I particularly like the postmortem discussions. Even when things go 100% right (lol) there is something to be learned and often those things go overlooked and agencies miss on real opportunities to improve. Even more opportunity is missed when things go wrong and there is no"knocking of heads" to see what we learned/could have done better.
Thanks for the kind words Michael. I agree on the importance of project management/efficiency. It's something that often get's lost in the discussion of running an SEO business.

I love our post-mortems. Honestly, aggressively implementing them was one of the best things I have ever done. It just really cranks up how good we are at the things we do when we are constantly looking for progress, not perfection. And, as a completely virtual company, it's a great place to talk about win's and losses in a non-judgemental way. This is great for team building and the development on strong interpersonal working relationships.
 
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