• November 11, 2013
  • Scott

We learned a long time ago that to get outstanding results you need outstanding people.  That success is binary – and if you have all the process and technology, but don’t have the right people, your odds of success are not good.

Jason Cohen has an interesting take on the concept:

You can’t put 100 average designers on a committee and get a fabulous design, right?

A great developer, or a great designer, is better than 10x an average one — they’re better than an infinite number.  Because they’ll come up with ideas and implementations that 100 others wouldn’t.

This is approximately true everywhere. A great writer (content marketing, social media) versus 100 average bloggers. A great manager who develops the careers of their folks versus several average ones who are glorified project managers. A great customer support rep thrilling customers and causing love on Twitter versus 100 others “answering tickets” but never invoking an emotional reaction. A product manager driving consistent, brilliant output driven by saleability instead of under-the-hood technical gymnastics.

The 10x line – a great developer being 10x better than an average one – is an old saw that I have heard ever since graduating college.  But Jason makes the great point – 10x is just a shorthand for infinitely better.  It isn’t that these people write 10x the code. Or are 10x more productive.  The 10x developer solves problems that 10 (or 100) other average developers likely wouldn’t.  They see choices that are better than the choices other people see. They write the “right” code, and tend not to waste time on the wrong code.

I always thought about this in terms of software more than anything else. The analogy holds up in BPM, to an extent.  The creativity of the best BPM consultants and developers yields results that an average person won’t achieve.  And no matter how many people you assign to a project, it won’t be successful if you don’t have the right people, rather than the right number of people. 

Jason’s post does a good job pointing out that this “10x” shorthand works in a number of disciplines – design, art, management, writing…

So when you’re hiring your BPM services firm – you’re going to want the team that in Jason’s word is “better than 10x” – and get great BPM results.


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