Good Work

This mobile & web development team’s process is just plain great.

Good Work runs a remote development shop with a home base in Dallas, Texas touting team members that do quality Craft CMS work around the globe. Founder, Garrett Winder, and Studio Manager, Ariel Kidwell took the Apprenticeship together. Having alignment from day one gave them an immediate advantage when implementing new concepts and developing new processes to increase profits and focus on smoother, more productive projects and workflows.

Good Work website

Organization
Good Work

Based in
Dallas, TX

Website
simplygoodwork.com

Program
Digital PM Ops Apprenticeship (cohort LTT-012)

It’s real­ly easy to be scared of client expec­ta­tions in a project man­age­ment posi­tion but Loud­er Than Ten enabled me to over­come that fear…I go in know­ing that I can han­dle what­ev­er comes up.

Tell us about the team at Good Work. How big is it? What’s it like? Who does what?

Garrett Winder: We’ll be nine people in November. We have seven full-time developers plus me and our Project Manager, Ariel. I handle operations and sales, and Ariel is one hundred percent project management and client communications. Our team is mostly remote, but we have an office in Dallas that three of us work out of fairly regularly. We have people in DC, North Carolina, England, France—all over the place.

How did you hear about the Louder Than Ten Apprenticeship? What drew you to it and what convinced you to sign up?

GW: I met Rachel and Travis at conferences and knew they were doing this apprenticeship. Right after Ariel started working with us, I saw something pop up on Twitter that reminded me about the program. So I dug into it, learned more about the curriculum, and got on a call with Rachel. We worked it out pretty quickly.

Ariel Kidwell: When I was hired, I had about a year of project management experience, but it had been about four years since I held that role in an agency. This apprenticeship was enticing because I felt like I could take this foundation I already had and grow it exponentially. It was such a lovely and unique opportunity to start a new job and this class at the same time. The timing was perfect. I was new, the position was new, and this program allowed us to create and inform my position so it would be exactly what our team needed.

You both completed the apprenticeship. What was behind the decision to go through the program together?

GW: We’re a very small team and work together closely. Ariel owns project management and client communication but we still work through things as a team. Doing this together enabled us to make sure we’re always on the same page when approaching projects and clients. Operations, sales, project management and client communication shouldn’t be siloed from one another. Going through the program together gave us a shared foundation for all of the work we do. It was definitely a smart decision—we’re now incorporating ongoing education and learning into everything we do.

A portrait of Ariel Kidwell

Ariel
Kidwell

Studio Manager
at Good Work

A portrait of Garrett Winder

Garrett
Winder

Owner
at Good Work

The proof is in the pudding

(and the Google reviews)

A screens shot of Good Works 5 star rating on Google

★★★★★

As a Project Manager, I want to work with a development agency that partners with me in solving business problems through web solutions and I find that in the Good Work team. They are approachable, easily and simply communicates the complexity of coding and meets deadlines we set as a team. Probably won’t ever work with anyone else. They’re that great.

★★★★★

Good Work built us a new website on a new e-com platform. We got along well from the start and they delivered a website that has exceeded our expectations. They are very easy to work with as their whole team is super kind, organized and communicative.

★★★★★

I’ve worked with Good Work for years on countless websites and a mobile app, and I can’t sing their praises enough. I would recommend them to anyone! Hard working, detail oriented, always on time, and make everything easy to understand. Great people, too!

★★★★★

Garrett and his team completely exceeded our expectations. They nailed the simple, clean design aspect we were looking for, but with all the backend sophistication and integration needed for our e-commerce solution. Everything was on time and we loved working with them.

★★★★★

Excellent work, listens and responds to requests quickly and very smooth project management.

★★★★★

I have used Good Work multiple times for small development projects. They have always been very professional and are great at managing projects efficiently. I highly recommend them for your website needs.

How would you describe the Good Work team and the way you work together? How has that changed since taking the apprenticeship?

AK: Our team has a really unique bond—especially considering how remote we are. On a personal level, we get along and communicate well, and on a professional level, we all have the same drive and value work-life balance. There’s an incredible level of trust and loyalty to each other. When it comes to the important stuff, we’re just all on the same page. The strength of our relationships also shows up in our process and, since taking the program, our team has only gotten better. I now have the confidence to navigate client relationships on my own which allows me to set fair boundaries and manage expectations in ways that work for both our team and our clients. Our whole team is better for it.

GW: We are oddly on the exact same page for pretty much every piece of the business. People understand my motives when it comes to sales and operations, and people understand Ariel’s approach to client relationships. We all understand and appreciate each others’ roles and approaches, and that enables us to work together really well. Since taking the apprenticeship, the way we actually work with clients and manage a project from start to finish has become even tighter, smarter and more productive. The entire team is now clear on exactly why we need to do things in a certain way and what our shared goals are. The benefits weren’t limited to myself and Ariel. They spread through the entire team.

By the numbers

Within one year, Good Work applied program principles that shone up their processes and their finances.

36% more billable output with
same team size and working hours

23% minimum project profit
(up from break-even)

more referrals
from existing clients

We have always had trou­ble doing any bet­ter than a few pen­nies on the dol­lar. But this year our num­bers are way up. We’re hit­ting a min­i­mum of 23% prof­it on our projects after tak­ing the Appren­tice­ship and that num­ber’s going up.

What else has changed about the way you do business? Have you seen any impact elsewhere—in terms of operations or sales?

GW: Taking the program has definitely made our clients happier. I don’t have a really good explanation other than the fact that we ship things on time, fewer things go over budget, and our Google reviews are all five stars. We don’t have any mad clients anymore. People are generally much happier with us and referrals are way up because of that. The bottom line is profitability and the apprenticeship was a big part of improving our numbers. We’re just five years old and still growing, but I think this program came at exactly the right time. We have always had trouble doing any better than a few pennies on the dollar. But this year our numbers are way up. We’re hitting a minimum of 23% profit on our projects after taking the Apprenticeship and that number’s going up. We’ve seen revenue and work completion become strong and consistent on a month-to-month basis. Everything has smoothed out and improved. Not just our projects.

The ben­e­fits weren’t lim­it­ed to myself and Ariel. They spread to the entire team.

What is the biggest struggle or challenge that you no longer lose sleep over?

AK: The apprenticeship program gave me such a full toolbox that I now feel like I can handle pretty much every situation. The fact that we have such a great team means I feel like we can take on anything. But from a client perspective, I don’t worry anymore. It’s easy to be scared of client expectations in a project management position, but Louder Than Ten enabled me to overcome that fear. Now, I don’t worry about dropping a ball or that someone is going to be angry. I go in knowing that I can handle whatever comes up. And that is huge.

GW: I don’t lose sleep over anything anymore. I know the client is going to be happy at the end of the day because we’re going to finish on time and they’re going to have a really good experience throughout the entire project. I definitely used to stay up worrying about whether or not clients would come back, but that’s not the case anymore. I know that every time they work with us, they leave impressed.

If I had a company and was thinking about this apprenticeship, what would you most want to tell me? What’s the biggest selling point?

GW: We make more money. We now make significantly more than it cost to take the program. The Louder Than Ten website has this tool that helps you calculate how much your projects are costing. It shows how much money you’re losing every month as a result of overages and delays, and it throws up these crazy numbers. It’s a really good sales pitch because we were losing that money but now we’re not. We’re now making that money instead of losing it.

AK: When I was brand new, I read through all the materials for the class trying to decide if it would be worth it or not. And I honestly remember laughing at the section that said: “Your revenues will increase by X%.” I thought to myself: Wow, that’s a great sales pitch but I’m sure that won’t happen. But it actually does. It’s shocking how much little things impact your bottom line and how quickly things can change for the better once you understand that. It’s only been six months since we finished the program and it’s already having a huge impact on our bottom line.

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