Here at the studio of dreams™, our legendary 48hr app series notwithstanding, we tend to work on long term projects, often spanning a year or more. From developing banking platforms to designing set top box UIs, these big projects allow us to build solid relationships with clients and provide ustwo™ with a solid financial grounding.
The down side is that working for extensive periods on the same project or task takes its toll on the team, turning a project from peachy to painful, and triggering what we call LPF (long project fatigue).
Symptoms of LPF include:
- Quickly becoming irritated by minor issues
- Saying 'I can't be bothered' or 'that will do'
- No longer wanting to even utter a project's name (having previously talked to everyone and anyone about it)
- Contemplate the latte-art heart on your coffee for far too long
It's always been our goal to have fresh and highly motivated people so we're working on ways to prevent LPF burnout and keep people focused when there's a long stretch ahead. Our strategy is to roll out what we call Proliday™—a ‘project holiday’. This solution allows us to temporarily rotate people between different tasks, sectors, platforms and between client and own IP projects. An iOS developer might, for example, spend time on an Android project, or a visual designer could move from a financial sector project to a fashion client.
Prolidays™ typically last between two and four weeks, but will vary depending on the project and person. The key is planning and willingness on the part of the client, team and project lead. Gaps left by people on Proliday™ will need to be filled and any knowledge taken away from the project will need to be passed on. In a developing company like ours, moving people around 100% of the time isn't realistic, but Prolidays™ are something we aim to implement more as we grow.
We've tried putting people on multiple simultaneous projects, but this just adds more stress, or taking people off projects permanently, but this isn't usually feasible. After a Proliday™ people return to projects refreshed, inspired and re-motivated. Unlike a conventional holiday, Prolidays™ allow skill exchanges and forge stronger relationships across the company. Clients benefit from better end results, as fresher people mean fresher products.
So plan ahead and send people on a Proliday™, win-win for everyone involved.