Desk of Brad

Measure Everything

Hi Everyone, 

Over the last month, I’ve been pushing hard in having the company think about and implement quality control checks, peer reviews, and standardize our processes. I have been thinking about growth and how we will manage the additional work coming our way over the next year. We must get a lot of things right and I don’t foresee an easy road ahead, but we have so much potential right now. I’ve been looking all over the company for “kinks in the hose,” or places where our agility and growth are restricted. 

I’ve have been initially focused on the quality of our work, but that is the bare minimum performance for a company of our caliber. If we’re not delivering an exceptional experience and product to our clients, then why bother at all? Every world-class company delivers great service and a fantastic product. I want to remind all of you that we are the best at what we do. You should all be super proud of the work that you do and the clients you serve. 

Still, we need to do better. Quality of course … but next up, we need to start measuring. Measuring everything. We measure the basics of our company. Of course, we have timekeeping, expense tracking, project status, and financial reporting, etc. but I don’t think these are going to cut it anymore. We need to be measuring the efficiency of every system and process within the company. We don’t need to roll out some huge, complicated reporting system. What we need is to see how much time it’s taking for things to get done. How long does it take to get a case study written? I am sure with a poll of Tahzoo, I would get a wide range of answers and some would be spot on, but they’d all be guesses because we’ve never measured and reviewed the process of getting a case study written. Complements to John Kottcamp and the marketing team for driving a total revamp of our case study marketing collateral over the last couple of months! But how can we plan for growth without knowing how long the work takes? 

The company’s success is not likely to ride on creating operational efficiencies for how long case study development takes. What will make a difference at Tahzoo will be understanding how long it takes to get things done correctly on projects. When is the last time we did a deep dive into the differences between the estimate and the actual? I want to get our estimations right so we can eliminate employee and client satisfaction issues around scope, schedule, and budget. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your project run seamlessly because you were working with the right people who have the right skill sets and the right time estimates to get the work done? Hopefully, you can see where I am headed here. If we start measuring and talking about this stuff, we can make the company run more smoothly with a higher degree of agility. This must apply to our internal systems as well, how much time are we spending standing up our software business or managing our partners? 

I asked the leadership team to roll out a change to Harvest to capture the actual amount of work going on in Tahzoo based on a fifty-hour work week. The vast majority of you work more than 40 hours a week and we need to know how long it’s actually taking to get things done for our clients and ourselves. We are also going to expand the VOC so that you can rate your experience working with different teams within the company. It will run exactly like the current VOC. You’ll be able to rate your experience on a scale of 1 to 5 when working with another team in the company. Think of this as Kudos or comments for teams that you interact with. If there is a correlation between how highly you rate your week of work at Tahzoo and it’s in part because of a great experience with a specific team, then we want to hear about it. If there is a process challenge or an opportunity for improvement, we want to hear that too. If we have a strong feedback loop that measures employee satisfaction and internal efficiency, we can continually improve how the company runs, we will be able to work faster, and we can enjoy our day a little more. It occurred to me the other day that I write about the fact that our work is about making millions of people a little bit happier every day … well, what about us (Tahzoo)? We get to have teams, systems, and processes that create great employee experiences too. 

We are going to be tweaking things around the company over the next six months. This might make some of you uncomfortable and that makes sense, however, we can’t keep operating the same way and expect different results. We need to look for the “kinks in the hose,” so we can unleash our full potential. If something is bothering you or you don’t understand why we are rolling out something new into Tahzoo DNA, then reach out and ask someone on the leadership team or send me an email. I need everyone to get behind this and be 100% committed. 

It’s going to be a journey for us as individuals, as team members, and within Tahzoo. We are about to celebrate our 10th Anniversary and start our 11th chapter together! I’ve been writing about Tahzoo for a long time and I think one day our little story might make a good read, we have been consistently underestimated and achieved the impossible. Our best is yet to come. 

Each year has a title. In the spirit of literary foreshadowing, I am going to share the title of our 11th Chapter – We get good at getting better. 

Let’s go be great!