ultimate.ai has shifted from a December-January to a February-January cycle.
Our quarters will therefore look as follow:
Q1: 01 Feb - 30 Apr
Q2: 01 May - 31 Jul
Q3: 01 Aug - 31 Oct
Q4: 01 Nov - 31 Jan
As a result, there are definite periods of ‘Crunches’ - where we need to get a lot done, fast - and likewise clear periods of ‘Cool-downs’ - where we can enjoy a well-rested break. Being transparent upfront about when these Crunches and Cool-downs let people know how to plan their year. This can be accompanied by a Holiday Policy so people are informed to book holidays in advance.
Note, we will also have to consider having team members on-call during Cool-downs, for areas like engineering and customer success, to make sure our customers still receive a high level of service.
Company All-Hands 🙌🏻
Getting everyone together in a regular weekly meeting is a nice way to check-in, introduce new joiners, hear any big announcements and generally keep up company culture, momentum and morale. Especially now when we’re all remote, having a weekly Ultimate All-Hands on Monday mornings is a nice way to start your week.
The last All-Hands of the month is a bigger deal: the ultimate Town Hall.
Town Hall is a chance for us to review how the past month went and align on our strategy for the future. By holding a Town Hall meeting only once per month, it gives business areas time to prepare and present on what they’ve been working on. Likewise, the CEO can have time to reflect upon and summarize the major developments over the past month and talk through where ultimate.ai is headed next.
Product Launch 🚀
Product Launches are big, meaningful product releases that can be launched and marketed to customers. Implementing a quarterly Product Launch cadence into our OS commits us to shipping a major product release once every quarter.
We are held accountable to these deadlines by the second (and equally important) part of a Product Launch cadence: the Launch Event. The Product Launch cadence brings Marketing and Product closer together, because as product and engineering are working hard building the next launch, Marketing is focused on how to announce it to the world.
Having a regular Product Launch cadence also improves transparency for other areas of the business, helping them set their own agendas in lock-step.
Throughout the year:
Launch Event 1 will be between 22 March - 02 April
Launch Event 2 will be between 14 June - 20 June
Launch Event 3 will be between 06 September - 17 September
Launch Event 4 (the big one, held during our Ultimate Month) will be between 15 November - 27 November
👔 Half-Year Plannings
Half-Year Plannings (HYP) are big strategic reviews and re-alignment. Having a regular cadence with which we tackle company-wide planning is a critical part of ensuring Ultimate is on course to hit our goals, or whether we need to adjust where we are spending our time.
We tackle HYP in 4-week sprints, the first being the month of July (a quieter time of year in Europe and also nicely followed by a Holiday Season in August) and the second being from mid-November to early December (similar to last year)
💪🏽 Sales Kick-off
Sales Kick-Off (SKO) is a meeting at the start of every quarter where quarterly sales targets are communicated, go-to-market strategy for the quarter is announced, best practices and customer stories are shared, and past successes are celebrated.
Like the SKO, the Product Kick-Offs (PKOs) also happen at the start of the quarter. Unlike the SKO, PKO is a meeting that the whole company attends, to be aligned on what’s coming up for the ultimate.ai product and be able to plan their activities around the new launches.