Jason Calacanis, on how to measure so that you can manage:
Like elite athletes, startups can benefit from discipline. One of my teams has a 7AM start time and “standup meeting” (10 or 20 minutes of what’s going on right after they get in). They magically became the most productive team. So, after a couple of months seeing that team perform so well, two other teams created an 8am and 9am start time (9am isn’t some massive accomplishment, I know, but most startups are moving to “Come in when you like” and “We pay for your vacation!” and “We don’t count vacation days!” as their recruiting tactics. I’d be concerned about these kind of approaches attracting the 7s and not the 9s as much as they attract the 9s).
Then folks started tracking their time in an App called Harvest. Now we’re actually reviewing time spent per project, and it’s leading to insights around how longs things should take and why one performer is running the table on another (e.g., they have a special technique).
All of this is under the “measure it so you can manage it” framework. And it’s not top down, it’s folks who are winners who want to win bigger.
Challenge yourself and your teams with additional discipline and see if it impacts product. In a hot talent market like this, people are scared to impose discipline on teams, but the fact is elite folks want elite results and understand it comes from challenging standards. Enforce standards and let the weaker folks opt out.
(Thanks for the heads up, wirelessjoe!)
We actually estimate Harvest to have saved us nearly 2 full days a month with us not having to manually configure invoices and chase them up and what not.
Harvest is enabling me to be successful. I feel confident that I can accomplish tasks. I know that when the clock’s ticking, I need to stay focused on the project at hand. I value the time I spend on projects in a way that I never have before. And, when I’m asked to do something, I’m asking the most important question of all: “How much time do you expect this to take?