Recently, we’ve made a few changes round the office. Some people have joined us, some have left the office, some old, friendly faces pop up once in a while and we keep plugging away.
But were we plugging away the right way? Some would argue yes, and others not so much. I think so, but I wanted to reveal our methodology anyway. In my classic “git’er done” kinda way, mostly what I care about is that things get done, and that they are done right the first time. Sounds exacting, right? But sometimes being so particular is worthwhile.
We’ve recently adopted holacracy as our working and organization structure. I like it, because we are truly collaborating and we all own our work. It’s also very handy because not all tasks are created equal. Writing a company’s narrative is not the same time-consuming-wise as for example, designing a logo. They both require some of the same information at the starting point, but one can definitely take longer than the other. Here is how we’ve chosen to tackle it.
In holacracy, there are two types of meetings: governance and tactical/operations meetings. Governance, I suppose you can guess what that’s all about, but tactical is a different beast altogether. We call our tactical meetings “scrums” and we each discuss what we’re doing and what the team’s priorities need to be. This allows specific skill sets to organize ourselves and work together, in what we like to call a “sprint.” The general idea is that “two heads are better than one” and so we can tackle larger project sections or tasks in less time and validate our ideas internally more efficiently before they are sent out.
This is in contrast to our previous model of stacked, or “silo” work, where one person was in charge of managing all clients and all aspects of a project, we are now all in the loop on all aspects of our projects. Before, work was being executed very piecemeal and within a vacuum. This meant that the writing might not have anything to do with the design and that a video might not reflect or support the content that was already created. Naturally, we tried to create cohesive work, but when there are too many cooks in the kitchen executing different aspects of the meal it leads to spoiling the broth.
Now, we use a staggered model. For example, if one of us is out of town, or otherwise away, no one is out of the loop, and no one has to spend extra time with the team enumerating the million and one things that need to get done. Because the team already knows and is already doing it.
Since our pivot to this new model we have noticed an increase in the quality of our work and the efficiency at which it is being produced. We’re not the only ones trying out this new methodology. Zappos, a company that has been praised for its organizational structure and the way it works has also decided to adopt holacracy, as that too much internal tension makes for bad company culture.
We’re not advocating total anarchy, but less hierarchy and more collaboration is what we’re all about. Give it a try!