Best Practice

The Nuts and Bolts of Best Practices

 

When building a bicycle for his daughter, Azim Nagree was reminded of the importance of two key components of best practices: process and documentation.

Last week, my daughter turned 4 and I found myself, late at night, trying to build her new birthday bike. The task would have been made easier if the instructions were decent, but unfortunately, they were written poorly so I ended up just trying to figure it out myself. What should have been a one hour project ended up consuming 3 hours of my time, as well as most of my patience and sanity (why would part A connect to part F – doesn’t it make sense for A to connect to B?!?)

As I struggled with the joining the “G-Connector Bracket” to the “U-Slide” but making sure that the “Circle Washer” was in the right place, I realized how this same struggle applies to the workplace. When someone is faced with doing something for the first time, we oftentimes do not set them up for success – instead, we let them either figure it out on their own or rely upon the dissemination of tribal knowledge (i.e. they ask one of their peers who gives them verbal guidance on how to do that particular task).

 

Included in this article examples of:

  • Processes
  • Documentation
  • Implementation

 

Read the full article, How Building a Bike Reminded Me of the Importance of Scaling, on LinkedIn.

 

A Case for Randomized Testing

April 20, 2020

 

Tobias Baer explains why the lack of randomized testing hampers businesses and raises the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The lack of randomized testing again and again hampers businesses because it means executives need to make decisions half blind – and Covid-19 is no different, only that in the case of Covid-19, the cost of not doing randomized testing literally might run into the trillions of dollars.

Randomized testing is nothing new – and widely considered best practice in the business world:

 

  • Marketing executives should run A/B tests to make sure that ads and other marketing outlays actually influence purchasing decisions and isn’t wasted on customers who would have bought the product anyhow (or worse, even discourage buyers);
  • Banks and insurers randomly approve a small sample of credit or insurance applications rejected by their policy rules because otherwise they cannot know how many errors these rules make and if they lose any profitable business;
  • Online sellers use randomized pricing experiments to test how much more or less revenue and profit they would make by raising or lowering prices a bit.

 

Read the full article, Why Covid-19 illustrates once more the need for randomized testing: Paying the price for biased information, on LinkedIn.