Get people to do what they are best at. Collaborate more. No mucking about. No wearing multiple hats. No doubling up of roles.
Experts working within their strengths are efficient and provide a return on investment. Cluttering them up with other work makes them less effective.
I think that one of the keys to getting through the coming year lies in protecting your experts, ensuring they can do what they are best at. It will help to avoid burning out your best staff and budgets and resources will work most effectively.
We have seen that the current pandemic has increased the difficulty of getting projects done on time, and in good order – in other words there is a drop in expert implementation. Getting it ‘right, on time’ seems to have become much more difficult all of a sudden. And it has been exacerbated by the drop in quality of communications that are a consequence of working remotely.
To make it worse, many budgets have been slashed. But the need to meet demand hasn’t. Unfortunately to ‘do more with less’ has been the corporate mantra for so long that it stopped meaning anything a long time ago.
People who are already stretched, who have not been able to solve the problem in the past, are the people who are expected to deliver the same output with less funds this year.
People who are stretched across areas outside their expertise will struggle to find time to do their best work. Anyone working outside their skill set will do it slower and to a lower standard than an expert, draining resources both financial and intellectual. The risk is that they land in the mediocre middle.
The front-and-centre reality for many people this year will be trying to do more with less while the quality of implementation goes down.
The solution is that experts have to become ‘experter’. And implementation needs to be handed over to experts (who will be becoming experter!)
At Hothouse Design we live in the implementation space which is why this problem and its outcomes are important and obvious to us.
In the design space, implementation is increasingly becoming an area of deep technical expertise. Right now, there are so many different tools, workflows, strings of code, processes, saas systems available to help with implementation, that it has to become a skill set of its own.
Once called finished art, it is better called technical design as the skill set becomes increasingly more technical – the finished artists of yesterday didn’t need to code, the technical designers of today do.
We support inhouse studios with implementation. It helps keep their designers out of the mediocre middle and makes their budgets yield more. And when we are all working within our skill set, we have time and head space to develop our skills further.
Don’t have your designers producing finished art. Don’t have them producing reports, manuals, documents, pricelists, catalogues, magazines, newsletters – implementation of these can all be streamlined to some extent, leaving designers the time and head space to design. Designers need to be able to focus on the way you present, they are not your manufacturers.
Doing everything inhouse only guarantees that you aren’t getting the best help. The result will show in the quality of execution and implementation.
Protect your experts this coming financial year. Outside experts will be part of the solution. Collaboration is going to be very important.