New Frameworks for Productivity: Setting the Basis for a 4-Day Work Week
The transition to a 4 day work week is a fundamental change for Scoro – we’re essentially compressing our usual 40 hours a week to just 4 days. This means we need to be as efficient as possible, making the most of the days we do have and giving our team a solid foundation to thrive. With this in mind, we’ve developed a set of time-saving methods that will enable us to deliver the same level of outcomes – if not more – as we did previously.
Building new frameworks to increase productivity
As a constantly growing team, we want to make sure we’re introducing frameworks that are easy to adopt, but also retain, after our transition. We know that change takes time, so we’ve come up with a process that will enable us to roll out new time-saving methods as smoothly as possible.
- Sharing what we already know. We’re introducing best practices to the team based on what we already know, and encouraging employees to open up and share their own learnings and time-saving methods with each other.
- Introducing a new set of norms. We’re setting out time-saving rules and rituals and assigning team members to help make sure these are being applied company-wide.
- Measuring performance. Once we’re confident these rules have been applied in our everyday work, we’ll monitor how time-saving initiatives have affected performance and whether there is any room for improvement.
Identifying areas of improvement
We want to introduce initiatives that have a lasting impact on our team. For this reason, we’ve developed a method for identifying the areas that will be most improved with time-saving methods.
50X Productivity Framework
One method we have used – based on Fredrick Taylor’s 50X Productivity Framework – is the act of breaking a task down into smaller actions, observing how long each takes, and using that insight to experiment and optimize efficiency. Once we have found the most effective method for increasing efficiency, we’ll share it with the team and support them as they begin to adopt this as a best practice.
By being aware of what eats our time, finding a better way to get it done, and training the team, we’ll be able to introduce initiatives that aren’t just relevant and effective, but also well implemented and understood by our team.
Root cause analysis
Another initiative we’ve implemented is root cause analysis; a problem-solving method that focuses on moving “upstream” and identifying the root causes of a problem instead of trying to “fight fires” downstream. Once we have identified the root cause, we will move on to solving the problem with one of three interventions: a rule, ritual, or resource. A rule is a company-wide change, a ritual is a framework that ensures all information is processed, and a resource is a framework that prevents the problem from arising in the first place.
When we put “root cause analysis” to effect, we found some of our teams were having problems achieving their quarterly goals because of a lack of support from other departments. The root cause of the problem was a lack of resources available, as other departments didn’t always have capacity to help. This boiled down to teams not always checking in with others on their availability when setting goals – instead making assumptions.
To solve this issue, we introduced a rule (everybody speaks up about their availability and resources) and a ritual (everybody agrees on what their quarterly goals are). We also came to the conclusion that goal-planning was a necessary resource we needed to focus on to prevent this problem from happening again.
To ensure we tackle problems with the appropriate solutions, we will analyze any concerns over efficiency or productivity that arise against “levels of effect”.
- Human level: This is our individual capability to work and is based on the fundamentals of wellbeing. As a company, we’ll share well-being tips and tricks with our team and reiterate the importance of healthy habits.
- Professional level: This relates to our team’s competency and how often they are improving themselves and the level of work they deliver.
- Team level: This is based on collaboration, interaction, and resource allocation. As a company, we can help our employees be in the best “team” state possible by setting company-wide rules and rituals that save time (i.e., in meetings, emails, and automation).
- Company level: This is based on our team’s focus. We can aid our employees in this area by clearly communicating changes and why we’re introducing them.
Once we organize all rules, rituals, and resources with levels of effect, we end up with a matrix of improvements, where all 4 levels of organization and three levels of intervention are combined:
A process for increased productivity
We’re mindful that we’re still early in our journey, so a lot of our time-saving initiatives and methods will be subject to ongoing evaluation and analysis. We have, however, come up with an overall process for organizing time-saving methods:
- Identify the root cause of a problem
- Find a solution
- Define the level of intervention (Human/Professional/Team/Company)
- Define the nature of intervention (Rule/Ritual/Resource)
- Introduce solution to the team
- Measure the effect of the solution
- Internalize the practice
We’re committed to making the transition to a 4 day workweek as smooth as possible for our team, laying the foundations for success ahead of our roll-out this summer. Our aim isn’t just to be successful within our organization – we also want to pave the way for others looking to make the shift by sharing our initiatives and processes as we prepare to roll them out.