The Olympic legacy

They say in life it's the little things that matter - they even agree in Zombieland. I watched an interview with Dave Brailsford, performance director of the British Olympic cycling team, and he certainly agrees.

The team put their success down to a program based on "maginal gains". The theory behind this is you list every possible thing that could either slow you down, or speed you up no matter how trivial. If you then improve every one of those things by 1% your overall improvement will be much larger. It probably doesn't take that much effort to improve most of these little things.

This makes sense to me, as this is much like how a programmer works, you don't tackle the problem. Instead you break the problem down into a dozen smaller problems and solve each one in turn. It got me thinking about how we could apply this to Gibe. If we listed everything that delays projects, every pain point, every thing that causes issues and everything that we could improve. Then we prioritise these starting with the ones that make the biggest impact. We could then improve each one, it wouldn't have to be much but this could have a huge difference on how efficient we are as a team and as an agency.

Office worker

One example might be that if everyone's computer takes 10 minutes to boot in the morning then with 8 employees in the office we're losing 1.3 man hours a day. That's nearly a working day lost every week. Spending a small amount on faster booting computers reducing boot time to 5 minutes would save 3 hours a week. Or automatically starting everyone's computer before they get in would eliminate this altogether.

This fits with our theory that has always been that we are paying our developers to develop websites everything they're doing that isn't developing websites is something someone else could be doing. If we have to spend a bit of money to make it easier for people to do their job that's almost certainly cheaper in the long term. We believe our job as managers is to get everything in place at the right time, and get rid of everything else that would slow our team down, then just get out of the way so that people can do their job.

So over the next few months, we'll be working on making every little thing 1% better for our team.

This might not be quite the Olympic legacy everyone has been talking about, maybe we'll start an office handball team as well.

About the Author

Steve Temple, Technical Director and co-founder of Gibe

Steve is Gibe's technical director and super brain behind the development of our major projects. With over 27 years of commercial experience, Steve is an expert in .NET, Umbraco and Microsoft technologies. Steve is also an Umbraco Certified Master and Microsoft MCSD