Our Shared Burden

How to exempt yourself from the productivity crisis. 

Our society is a divided one. Not just between the rich and poor, the east and west, but between the top 5% of companies and the rest. Across much of the developed world, it is these high-performing companies that are driving productivity growth. These innovative organisations are masking the truth behind an already bleak picture. Billions and billions of dollars is lost every year because companies are not improving at the rate they should.   

So how do you save yourself? What even is productivity? All that and more below.  

Why Productivity is Important

Productivity is, as a technical term, a measurement of the efficiency of an organisation or economy. For example, you could measure your software development teams’ on how many lines of clean code they can produce an hour. A more traditional example would be how many cars a company produces a month. If you have been following Tesla’s fortunes for the last six months, you’ll have some idea of how important this concept is.   

Here’s where things get exciting. The competitive advantage gained from increasing productivity is relevant. If everyone has the same productivity growth then productivity growth doesn’t confer any advantage, it’s just the market equivalent of keeping up with the Jones’. However, if one company has a higher productivity growth then their competitors then it confers exponential competitive advantage. Consistent growth compounds like interest.  

Why Your Company Isn’t More Productive  

Unfortunately, a productivity trench isn’t necessarily your fault. In most developed economies investment in infrastructure has been low for a long time. Furthermore, the biggest gains to productivity come from tax reform and improvements to education. The good news is there are some simple changes a company can make to increase productivity and give themselves an edge. 

  1. Invest in better methods rather than more people

    The single biggest expenditure for most organisations is their employees. It is a natural assumption that as a company grows, it should hire more people. However, there are more options than simply increasing the team size and often those options are cheaper and lead to happier and more productive employees. One example is technologies, such as Microsoft Azure PaaS or O365. 

  2. Build expertise, don’t buy it

    Another easy trap that many companies fall into is a ‘consultant culture’. That is, when expertise is required, an outside source is sought. Again, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with outside help (goodness knows, providing it is a huge part of ProArch’s business – ed.). However, when hiring consultants is the goto option rather than, say, sending capable people on training courses or handing responsibility to junior individuals, productivity stalls. The ‘consultant culture’ is a short-term view, a happy, productive company, a long-term goal. That is why ProArch’s clients are always multi-year friends. We invest in building teams that work with your own, ensuring the learnings we discover are shared and that you receive the benefits of our investment in our employees, as though they were your own.

How to Become More Productive

Innovation. Growing productivity is that simple. Well, almost that simple, but there’s no time for that.   

There are off the shelf solutions that allow your existing staff to do more with their time. Microsot365 is an all in one solution that reduces your IT overheads by making IT more efficient and empowers the rest of your team to collaborate more effectively and work from wherever they wish. However, the brilliant bits of innovation must come from within. Every company is of course different, but as a rule of thumb, innovation comes from a company taking a few simple steps: 

  1. Creating a culture where people want to be. Happy employees are creative employees.  
  2. Ensuring that employees have the time and space during the day to be creative. 
  3. Investing in good ideas when they appear. 

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why is a software development company talking about political-economic concepts like productivity? Also, why is a company that builds teams talking about the dangers of hiring more people? Here’s a secret: we have an agenda.

TeamX by ProArch isn’t about people. TeamX is about brilliant people. Of course, you could buy-in consultants, but they’ll tell you to do the obvious things, the things they will tell every other organisation to do.  

In a way, that might be useful and indeed, ProArch offers a consultancy service to identify the easy wins. However, the really brilliant ideas, the ones that separate your Googles from your Yahoos, come from internal teams. So, TeamX by ProArch finds those brilliant people and works with them and you to forge a team. A genuine team. A team buzzing with ideas and suggestions. When all those ideas and suggestions start to be thrown around, and built upon, that’s when innovation happens. Then, when you need more people to make those ideas reality, you’ve already got the perfect partner: ProArch.

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