By Adam Shallcross
What to look forward to in 2017 at The Cogworks
Happy New Year, or is it now too late to be saying that? So a new year and a whole new set of interesting and amazing opportunities lie before us as a company.
2016 was a really great year for us. We are now 10 years old and have slowly grown up into a young adult having amazingly avoided the annoying, stroppy early teens with its tantrums and emotional hiccups!
Since we started back in in 2006 (when I had hair and no kids, not sure if those two facts are related or not!), we have grown slowly and steadily. I suppose we didn’t really know at the time where we were or where the road would take us, but here we are, still fighting and stronger than ever!
So whats coming for The Cogworks in 2017? As we move into our 2nd decade (man that sounds weird!) what do we have to look forward to?
The Cogworks Company Values
One thing we have realised as we have grown is that the larger the team, the trickier it is to keep everyone pointing in the right direction. What you don’t take into account when you start a company is the melting pot of personalities there are in the world who may or may not end up working with you.
Not everyone has the same drive, the same passion and the same goal as the owners of a company. Of course everyone wants to do a good job and enjoy going to work in the morning, but how as a company do you point everyone in the right direction?
Well, a good starting point is a set of company values. We have come to realise that after 10 years it was probably about time that we had a good hard think about who we are as a company and who we want to be. What makes us a good place to work? What keeps our clients happy and coming back for more? How can we, in a few simple words define the company culture and how we want our team to behave? So during 2016, we undertook a project to start to have a think and ‘find ourselves’!
Investors in People
Whilst puzzling away for a while, coming up with words we thought would reflect us, one of our team mentioned the Investors in People programme and whether that may help. Having seen the logo on other company websites, I assumed it was just for larger organisations. However, having investigated the programme in more detail it is in fact open to all no matter how big you are and to be honest, it’s been a really interesting and valuable exercise to go through.
One of the initial areas they look at are your company values. They use these as one of the measurements i.e. do your team know what your company goals are? What you stand for as a company, and how do you as managers drive these through the company?
So a major part of 2017 for us is to get these in place and get us through the Investors in People programme. I will probably write some more articles on this process over the coming months.
Strengthening our offering
As Umbraco specialists we are known for our skills in Umbraco consultancy and development, however this is only part of what we offer as a company.
Traditionally we are what the industry calls a ‘design and build agency’ - i.e. we provide web design and development services.
However over the past 3 years we have also been offering a range of other services focusing on content delivery. We have built a dedicated team of Umbraco experts who manage a range of content and site delivery projects for our clients.
We are definitely looking to expand on these through 2017 - so if you’re struggling to update your website or don’t have the time or skills, then give me a shout and maybe we can offer some help!
Focusing on Umbraco
As part of the Investors in People process it has made us really think about who we are, not only from a company values perspective, but also ‘what do we do?’
So, during 2017 we will be looking to refine and drive that message out as much as we can. We have honed it down to 3 main areas:
Driving the Umbraco Community
We’ve been fully committed to the world of Umbraco since 2008. From hosting the 5th birthday party, starting the Umbraco UK Festival back in 2009 (which has inspired other local Umbraco communities around the world to hold their own), to regular London Umbraco Meetups, free developer workshops and seminars and a range of Umbraco packages, we’ve (I think) done a huge amount to raise awareness of Umbraco in the UK.
So expect even more Umbraco goodness this year. We have already kicked off the year with a big bang and are finalising our Umbraco Find and Replace package and have more events in the pipeline, so watch this space!
One major area we are looking to grow in 2017 is Umbraco in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. We’ve had an office in Kraków for a couple of years now and we have been testing the market over there.
We have seen that there is a massive opportunity to replicate what we have done in the UK, so after running the first Umbraco Poland Festival in 2016, we are planning a whole range of developer events for 2017 to help drive Umbraco across this part of the world.
So, 2017 is going to be an exciting year for us and we’re looking forward to grabbing these opportunities and running as far and as wide as we can with them...Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to keep updated on what we are doing!