I love efficiency, and I can’t help but see inefficiencies all around me, every day, and everywhere I go. I feel like it is a sixth sense of mine to just constantly be looking for ways to eliminate waste. The problem is that it is always incredible minor things, so it is hard to get anyone else excited about the way that I think. But, it is what it is. I’m a weird engineer-minded person, and the rest of the world isn’t.
I think of the biggest obstacles holding our company back is efficiency (or productivity). Now, noticing that something is inefficient is useless unless you can identify what is making the system inefficient. At SkEye, the difficult part is that everyone has a very wide range of things that they need to accomplish. We all wear multiple hats (sometimes dozens of hats).
A Traditional Job
A traditional job provides employees with a clear set of tasks to complete. The employee shows up to work and starts completing the necessary tasks, when they finish the list, they are all done. They can either go home, or wait for the next set of tasks to be given to them. There are some days where I envy people that have this type of job, because it would be so much easier and less stressful than the life that we live at SkEye Studios. But, I think it is important to remember that this type of job has the risk of being very robotic and not very fulfilling (in some cases). But, either way the main thing is that our work environment at SkEye is completely different
A SkEye Job
At SkEye Studios we don’t have a set list of tasks for people to complete. We are relying heavily on a person’s ability to create their own list of tasks, and then their ability to prioritize that list and doing the tasks that they think need to be completed. This activity is one of the hardest things for a person to do (me included, I struggle with this every day). The reason that it is so difficult is because there are no constraints. It is a completely open-ended problem, that the employee has to solve on a daily basis. If I could simplify it to the one questions they have to solve on a daily basis it would be, “what should I do today to get me, my company, and my colleagues closer to their respective goals?” This is a doozy for sure, because there is no right answer.
Right now we have dozens of tasks that are partially created:
- New website for our company
- Millennial marketing campaign
- SEO marketing campaign
- Summer speaker series planned out
- Two social media proposals
- Millennial marketing landing page video
- Third-person camera rig
- And, at least 6 clients that are waiting for their projects to be completed.
Is it my fault that we have all these semi-completed things? Is it my role to put systems and structures in place to help us get more things done? The problem with all of these half-baked things is that none of it has value to us, to our clients, or to potential clients. Ideas are not valuable, execution and products are valuable. Customers want actual products. For example, Let’s say I need a method of transportation to get to work. I go out to my garage and I see that I have a car with no wheels, a bike missing a chain, a scooter with a dead battery, and shoes with broken laces. I have a number of great potential solutions to help me get to work, but I have nothing that actually provides me value today.
When I put things down on paper I realize that if we just tweaked a few things we could potentially have a drastic impact on our productivity and efficiency. That is because the only reason we are inefficient is because we are not producing value in a timely manner. But, we are producing a lot of stuff to about 90% of completion. If we made a slight shift to wrap up the last 10% of those projects we would suddenly have a big list of valuable things.