This week, I got a thought. A thought, that I believe can also provide value to you, as I think it can do for me. It is still an exploration. It is about value creation.

Actually it is two concepts. The first is about helping people, supporting your team members and colleagues. Let’s say your software developer colleague is having struggle with a problem. He can’t figure it out. Already spending three hours, he just got stuck. You walk by, glace at his screen and give a little tip. The tip cost you nothing, but it caused the breakthrough. While you get a coffee from the canteen talking to a friend and return to your office, your colleague have been able to complete his task and is thanking you. What is in this case the value you have created? Did you create value of 2h worth of time? 5hours? Potentially more, because you might have avoided to raise the issue on the next meeting, requiring everyone’s time.

Of course you do not speak up and annoy your boss asking for the attribution. Because you are not there to get attribution, you are there to support your team. And the next time, someone is going to save your ass. To make your team as productive as possible it is essential to get unblocked as fast as possible.

Now a second thought. Let’s say there is a project in your company, there is a single software engineer working on it. He is a good developer, but he thinks the nobody care about this project anyway. So his productivity per day is 1. He was able to build the version one and your company want that that the work on version 2 can progress faster. What options to you got.

First you could assign a second developer to that project. The second engineer is also good. His productivity is also 1. The new developer need to learn the new project, this in fact will first reduce the efficiency to less than 1 for both together. A week after both are back up to speed. And can reach both their productivity of one. (Together they have 2). Now they can discuss both, they can unblock each other, and they can share the tasks in a way, that both can play out their strengths. It get possible to achieve a productivity above 2. They are even able to reach together a productivity of three. Wow, that is awesome.

You also could have assigned a project manager to the project, a business analyst. Week one: the BA also need to familiarize himself with the project. He is analyzing what the developer does. From week two, he is able to prepare the tasks, make sure the requirements are clear defined. He does a fantastic job. The developer is able to complete many of the tasks in about half of the time. The BA is talking to stack holders and also realizes, that some tasks don’t need to be done at all. By this the two reach a productivity of 2.

Third you can do both. Add a second developer and a BA. As with a new developer, he needs to get trained. In week one the productivity drops. In week two both developer reach are familiar with the project, also the BA is able to prepare and analyse the tasks so he can make sure the developers can reach each a productivity of 2 resulting in a good combined productivity of 4. From week three the developer and the BA work even better together. The developers work each in their strength and they support to unblock each other. The team is able to reach an astounding productivity of 6.

As the developer and the BA realize, how good they can progress version 2 is a full success. The success is a great booster for everyone’s motivation. While working on version three they reach a productivity of 7, 8 and 9 per day and a bonus for a great project is already waiting for everyone.

Is that an awesome thought? What do you think? How many people should work on a project? Let’s discover that next time!