Welcome to #opensnook, an experiment in opening up our development as a company, stripped back and in the open.

Back in January I unveiled our strategy and 12 month plan to the team.  It went something like this: “6 months of web development between projects, content development and strategy sessions.  A big reveal in June.”

After showcasing this to the team, I was pulled up for my own over-planning and reminded about our belief in agile, shipping quickly and regularly, building minimum viable products (MVPs) to get ideas out of the studio quickly. I began to wonder: “how could we be more agile about this process, and not over plan our new website and offer?”

As project work grew, internal development time decreased. January slipped to February, and then early March was upon us. Then it came to us. Build a Snook MVP.

So, we started Open Snook, a process to share how we develop ourself, using our design and digital tools.  You can follow all of it on #opensnook.

I’m letting go of my own personal fears, much like our clients often have when we talk about prototyping and showcasing to the world what we’re developing and how.  We’re using and testing our own methods and tools to develop Snook’s improved approach.

Our approach is to make sure we practice what we preach. Build quick, ship quick, watch data and what people respond to, and build more of it.  Put design thinking at the heart of our development.

We’ve got a huge amount of content to share and I’ve made sure that this is part of our regular team sessions. We’ve developed new communications roles, content curation platforms and some of you will have seen our newsletter bringing you a dose of Snook into your inbox every month.  We’ve had to work on as much of the internal roles and structure as we have on the outside.  This is our job as service designers, you have to link up the front stage (what customers see) and the backstage (how you deliver it).

In March we ran an internal Snook Team Hack on our approach, our strategy and our brand.  I’ll be touching more on this as we develop the site but we mapped our customers, touchpoints, brand promise and began to articulate by looking at our previous work what we’re good at and what we’re offering.

For version 1.0 of our site we used Moscow, a great framework that prioritises the most important features you need to build first.  Moscow in my eyes stands for:

M – Must have
S – Should have
C – Could have

W – Would like to have (and should probably never happen). Normally this means won’t have but we’ve adapted this to work with our idealistic and optimistic thinking.

We had a huge list of functions and content mapped that the site ‘needs to have’ from project timelines to showing which projects are live and archived.  This can often paralyse companies who see these developments as huge undertakings.  Yes they are, but they can always be broken down in to chunks.

We have an ongoing Moscow list after brainstorming everything we wanted our new website to have. But to simplify it and ship quickly, this is our Moscow for V 1.0 and 1.1.

M – Title, Address, Phone Number, Contact Email, Standard web policy
S – Newsletter Sign up, List of basic services, link to live content on social media platforms
C – What we do, Client Logos, Case Studies

For Version 1.0 we’re going with our absolute must haves.

Enjoy our Snook MVP, there isn’t much here but you will slowly see it develop over time and read about how we’re developing our business.

I’m looking forward to launching Version 1.1 next week and having you come along the journey with us.