Company Playbook - Creating Our Agency Playbook

3 min read

In our quest to systemize our agency, we embarked on a search for the perfect “Agency Playbook.”


However, what we found were mostly sales pages for various products, which wasn’t what we were looking for. We didn’t want to just replicate someone else’s system; we wanted to create a system tailored to our agency’s unique needs and processes. Recognizing the challenge that most effective playbooks are hidden, we decided to take a different approach. We sought out the best open-source playbooks available and distilled what we could learn and apply from them.

Our goal was clear: to document every business process we run repeatedly. Here’s how we approached creating our own agency playbook, focusing on key areas like HR, culture, projects, development, and customer success.

HR + Culture

Understanding the importance of human resources and culture, we focused on the onboarding process for new employees. We discovered an invaluable resource in Oyster’s Open Source Employee Guide, which offered a comprehensive look at a successful onboarding strategy. Inspired by this, we crafted our onboarding process, emphasizing integration into our culture and values.


Culture is more than just a buzzword for us; it’s the lifeblood of our agency. We value critical thinking, clear communication, engineering mindset, and effective writing. Our inspiration came from studying successful teams, notably the insights shared in the “$80 Million Teammate Playbook.” These principles guided us in fostering a culture that champions innovation and collaboration.


Project management is another critical aspect we tackled. Our guide in this endeavor was the methodology outlined in Basecamp’s Shape Up approach. This resource helped us understand how to manage projects efficiently, focusing on outcomes rather than just processes.


In the development domain, we covered aspects like code reviews, DevOps, and security. We learned extensively from the GitLab Development Handbook, which offered deep insights into managing a development team and ensuring high standards of code quality and security.

Customer Success

For customer success, our focus was on client onboarding and communication, drawing lessons from resources like Hiver’s Customer Success Playbook and Process Street’s guide on creating a Customer Success Playbook. These resources provided us with frameworks to enhance our client interactions and manage escalations effectively.

Looking Ahead

While we’ve made significant progress in systemizing our agency, our journey doesn’t stop here. We’re in talks with a mentor who’s sharing his agency playbook with us. This will cover areas we plan to systemize next, including HR, PM + Service delivery, administrative systems, financial management, and bizdev, sales, marketing, and PR.

Creating our agency playbook has been a transformative process. By learning from the best open-source resources and adapting these insights to our context, we’re building a solid foundation for our agency’s future growth and success. Stay tuned as we continue to evolve our playbook and share our learnings along the way.

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Till Carlos

I'm Till, a senior developer who started a software company. I explain software concepts for people in leading roles.