The miracle of collaboration
Larger companies get it. They know that collaboration is the secret of success. But, smaller companies do not often know how to put successful teams and networks together.
In blog writing, we learned that hiring an outside blog writer is too expensive and not cost effective at our stage in business. They want $40-$150 per entry. But, how much extra traffic do their blog entries get? Enough for us to absorb this exorbitant fee? Not this year. So, what is the solution? I learned that I am a very fast writer, and have some creative ideas, but need someone to proofread my work for spelling errors. I don’t always get my work spellchecked since it is time consuming to do that. But, for more critical articles I do have them proofread.
I can write up to six interesting blog articles in an hour.
For the more thought provoking or longer articles I might spend 30 minutes to an hour, or in a few rare cases more than that. The professional bloggers want to charge me for more than an hour of labor for their perfected articles. What I learned, is that despite their better quality work, the cost:benefit ratio doesn’t work out in my favor. If my time is worth $100 and I can average four blog articles per hour, that is $25 per article of my time — not to mention that I LIKE writing blogs which makes the time spent more agreeable. When a professional writes the blog entry it might get 50% more traffic than my average blog, but is that worth paying $150? Or, when a less professional blog writer who charges $40 writes an entry for me, it might get 15% more traffic. Is it worth the extra cost, plus management time to get slightly better results?
My solution is for me to write most of my blogs, but have a professional come up with ideas to ADD to my blog after it is complete. That is a very quick and efficient way of utilizing their expensive time. Also, I could have someone proof my work after it is done. This way I can have a professional “touch” on probably about seven blog entries for the same cost it would be to have them write a single blog exclusively themselves. This collaboration plan involves three people, but raises the quality of output significantly with very modest costs per blog entry.
Many smaller software companies have good team members, but the members don’t come together to function as a team. They are not trained to work as a seamless team, and don’t have the personal habits to do so either. I have learned that certain people can crank out code, but cannot interact with others. Some people can strategize about perfect code architecture, but don’t get back to people on time (and don’t answer their phones). While many people have excellent communication and “get back to you” skills who can manage projects and timetables who can’t write code or create architecture. Additionally, there are those who are talented at sales and hiring who are also essential at a software company. If you put a handful of junior developers together with on mid-level developer, and a project manager plus an architect, you have a team that will deliver cost effective, fast, and quality results. The lower level people do the grunt work, but higher level people do the strategy, organizing and double checking everything.
IT collaboration failures
The problem I often see in custom software development companies is that they might have people of all levels and capabilities, but they work as individuals. Or, if they work as a team, they don’t communicate back and forth effectively, or don’t have time to check the work of the less experienced programmers. Failed collaboration results in F quality work. So, the secret here is non-stop coaching to get your whole team to work as a well greased machine. Yes, that is difficult, but it is the difference between business growth, and business failure! Just figure out how to collaborate — and do it masterfully!
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