Join this session

11am, Thursday 29th April 2021

This is for Agency Hackers members. If your agency isn’t a member yet, please sign up here.

SQUAD GOALS: How Streamlining My Agency’s Teams Has Helped Build Stronger Client Relationships

  • Rob Verheul, managing director of Graphite, realised that their way of working with clients (and each other) needed an overhaul
  • To create more clarity and consistency, they set up “squads” of employees to work on specific clients and projects
  • Hear Rob talk about this process in more detail, and the positive effect it has had on client relationships, and how it contributed to his agency’s rapid growth in the last year

Every agency has its own way of working.

But just over a year ago, Rob Verheul decided that things needed to change at Graphite.

“When we received a new requirement from a client, it was often a challenge to find an appropriate level of resource to work on it,” explains the managing director. 

“We ended up with problems. One brand’s problem or under-resource had knock-on impact for the whole agency, and it became difficult for people to switch between clients and get the right mindset quickly, which resulted in quality issues as well as a great deal of stress.”

It quickly became clear that they needed to create a better working model that would create clarity and consistency for all. This inspired them to create individual teams – “squads” – to streamline their operations, also known as the Spotify model.

“We essentially formed groups of people, dedicated to clients in order that they could form better relationships with each other and the clients directly,” says Rob. 

“All of a sudden there was no question about who was going to design for this client, or who was best equipped to design for that client, because they work with them all day, every day. Now, clients have got that continuity, right from the pitch stage through into working together and delivery,” says Rob.

When a new client comes on board, a new squad is carefully curated and handpicked to best suit their needs and to help accelerate their overall progress.

And it’s also changed Graphite’s recruitment process.

“We now hire people directly into squads, so they’re introduced to a fully-formed team who already work really well together. And as our squads grow, clients are appreciating more the attentiveness and effectiveness our squads offer them.”

Is this something that would work in your agency?

Rob will be talking about his squads in more detail, and how they have helped with the agency’s overall strategic direction, progress and success. 

This is a great one to attend if you’re thinking about how to improve your team structure.