Some time ago, one of our best programmers gave us
notice; he was leaving Southern California for the trees of Oregon. But he gave
us 3 months, and we used that time to transform ourselves into a true online
operation. All development servers moved online, all operating and accounting
software moved online, faxes went online, we put all our documents, data &
knowledge online, most money came and went online, and we embraced online task
management as the tool to manage our work. Between that, email, Instant
Messenger, and a raft of emerging internet solutions, our programmer in Oregon
remained part of the team. In fact, his effectiveness improved and management
became more productive.
Not long thereafter, other programmers asked to use
the online system to work out of their homes. Soon they opted for the tax
benefits of being contractors, of working weird hours, and of commuting in
Eventually, we found we could replicate the concept to
functions involving everything from:
- secretarial services since we moved our documents
- research since almost all the data we sought was
- sales & marketing since our best customers were
- project & business management since everybody
they would deal with was already online.
Most of this was accomplished using the internet tools
and techniques developed by others, but a couple of tools we developed were big
factors. KB Meister is a centralized knowledge base that allows us to store,
find, and use our data & knowledge to operate the company. Task Meister is
how we assign, manage, and pay for all the tasks done around here. These
productivity tools have become integral parts of how we operate, and the
springboard for some commercial products under the
The result is a confederacy of contractors, a network
of people connected better than they were as employees. We have managed to
empower contractors with the freedom to leverage their initiative, but without
making them castoffs from the inner circle of employees.
The future sees us building on this experience to
employ talent wherever and whenever it is available. Our approach opens the
door to the disabled, the remote, those with other commitments, those in
transition -- anyone with a passion and eager to be measured not just by effort
but by results.
If you would like to join that team, click the
Steps to Succeed.