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Communicate MORE success: operational practices = hours saved

Everything we do has a 'cost' and 'savings'. We often forget about the latter, but if we shine a spotlight on savings, I think it could help teams adopt new practices by adding more substance for weekly/monthly celebrations or reporting.

save money.gif



I saw this concept in action via this post on Reddit. A library displayed how much you saved by not buying the book just borrowed. In other words, the receipt showed that using a library saves you money. And...they wrote your savings right on the receipt! 

library savings.jpeg 


When we try new practices with our teams, sometimes it's seen as "one new thing to do" as a cost to our schedules. But we don't realize how much the new practices "save" us. Probably because the savings aren't always immediate. If this resonates with you, I whipped up examples where you might be able to proactively call savings a win.

  • Stand-ups: if your team tries out daily stand-ups async, and at the same time removes a live stand-up meeting, here are some calculations you can use.
    • A weekly 30-min stand-up removed = 2 hours saved/month = 6 hours saved/quarter
    • Twice weekly 30-min stand-ups removed = 4 hours saved/month = 12 hours saved/quarter

  • Workstream documentation: on my teams, we heavily use Confluence to update where each workstream lead is on a project. Before Atlassian, I was accustomed to having whole team status meetings on every project weekly + one-on-one meetings with each lead twice monthly. Shared documentation access + in-line comment discussions reduce that meeting time.
    • An hour status meeting removed = 4 hours saved/month = 12 hours saved/quarter
    • One-on-one 30-min check-ins between a team lead + 4 different workstream point people every other week = 8 hours saved/month across 5 people 

  • Self-service library of assets: have you ever implemented naming conventions for files, a folder system in Dropbox, slide decks of templatized slides, or grouping of pages in Confluence? It's a way to empower staff to find what they need instead of going to the same people for help every time.
    • Being asked for certain files by several people every regularly might translate into 10 minutes of messaging every couple days = 1 hour and 40 minutes saved per person/month 
    • The above situation for four people on a Creative or Design or Technical Content Production or another Service-oriented team = 6 hours and 40 mins saved/month


Question to consider

I've found that every way to acknowledge successes is a morale booster and motivation to affirm practices. It would be cool to borrow from each other to add more wins for our teams.

Y'all ever try something like this? Share what you think or versions of your math in the comments! 


Totally agree @Christine P_ Dela Rosa . When the cost/break-even is not clear enough, it's not easy to measure success. A slide I share when talking about Daily Scrum tips


Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

Absolutely, @Sedera Randria. Meetings are costly, so if you use them, they better be purposeful.

Just because I like to be a devil's advocate :D

Great suggestions from Christine, which do work if everybody in the team is on the same page and have time and possibilities to follow up and read all this information.

If the company is doing LOADS of communication and it's all/most async, there is a very high chance of employees missing this information due to its overload. And calculating what's the impact of missed communication can be much trickier.

Like # people like this

Fair and a great point, @Anita Kalmane. This article isn't advocating to convert everything into meeting reduction, but rather, a way to celebrate operational changes intended to improve efficiency.  

whenever suitable (accepted), I use to introduce - among other things - the "45 minutes meetings" (mostly "project/product/strategy management" meetings) as a replacement for the standard "1 hour meetings".
reasoning and savings:

  • whatever you may be able to complete within a 1 hour meeting is mostly achievable within 45 minutes
  • if 1 hour is not enough, then don't loose more than 45 minutes on the initial meeting. Schedule a followup meeting instead.
  • given an average of 6 attendees and 6 such meetings per week: 9 hours saved
  • the 15 mins saved can be used to summarize, complete/process, cleanup further small (individual) tasks... or to take a break before the next meeting.
  • avoid having a streak of 3-4 "1 hour meetings" without a break or avoid attendees being late, coz they needed a break inbetween...
  • people will adapt and become more "focused"...
Like # people like this

Love that, @Loïs Bégué . Tighter meetings counts and should be highlighted!


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