Wow, what a crazy Friday night I’m having. I’ve been responding to a bunch of tweets about a comment that I made on our show, the Digitial Convergence Podcast, this week. I was talking about sometimes, the prospect of adding ONE more worker to a workforce of one is harder then it need be. The task of managing that person, checking their work, making sure they are matching your style and living up to your clients expectations is VERY difficult, so much so it may be easier to just stay late a few nights a week and do it yourself.
When you take into consideration that this new person probably won’t do as much work as you can do in a day, it FURTHER exascerbates the issue.
It is my belief that when you look into the prospect of managing additional workers (and mind you I’m talking mostly about post production because, well… that’s what I do and know) the ideal ratio of workers to manager is probably 3:1. Huh, what do I mean by THAT?
Let me give you an example. I work at a small post facility. I am a self motivated and conscientious worker so I don’t need much ‘management’. My boss, the owner just points me to a project and I make good. If we have only one job on the books on any given day, I’ll be cutting it. When we add a second job, my boss will usually jump on it and take care of it himself. But, if we add a THIRD job to any given day, he’ll usually hire 2 freelancers (I’m staff) and he’ll take the job of producer/manager/supervisor. In OUR world everyone is cutting until there are 3 jobs going on concurrently, thats when he gets out of the chair and moves into the supervisor role.
I don’t think we had ever mapped this out as a strategy but it seemed to fall into place that way over the years.
So, the twitter discussion tonight was all about deciding when to add more people to the mix… and this is my more drawn out answer.
We also discussed this on this weeks episode of DCP.