'Joe' Schmidt is the head coach for Ireland’s rugby union team. During his time there, Ireland have won three Six Nations Championships in five years. A recent article praising him said “Schmidt is unquestionably THE special one.”
What’s this got to do with running a project-based business?
Everything. Schmidt once said this:
“I wouldn't even say I have a rugby philosophy. I just think that you look at the resources you have got, you try to maximise the resources you have currently available and the combinations that they form.”
The parallel with business is obvious. It’s easy to dilute your energies by spending time wishing you had more people, or better premises, or bigger clients, and so on. But that’s not really the way to grow your business. The Chief Operating Officer of a creative agency told us:
"Synergist has streamlined our processes. Before, if we wanted to grow we would invest in extra people and hope that the turnover would increase by the percentage we needed.
“It’s all completely different now. Today, we’re much better at seeing exactly what we can achieve from the resources we have.”
It seems obvious when you see it put like that. Don’t fret about things you don’t have. Capitalise on what’s already there.
But you need the right tools to analyse that. Which types of your projects are the most profitable? How effective is your capacity planning? Are your best people wasting time searching for information or working on the wrong priorities? Are you sure that no billable time is slipping through the cracks somewhere?
Before you get too carried away with hiring plans, it makes sense to first be completely on top of what your team is capable of today. Schmidt says his players are:
“Ordinary men who are an extraordinary team.”
That’s another way of saying that he's maximising his resources. In this case, his 'ordinary men' regularly win Six Nations...
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