In January American Tech Giant companies such as Microsoft, Tesla and Apple announced good financial results. Google is about to announce it next week, I’m sure it will have good financial results. The stock price of the US has fallen considerably like a falling knife…
Beginning of the fiscal year for almost all companies is April in Japan, many U.S companies start the fiscal year in January. So Kick-off meeting is also held in January. It is held virtually under COVID-19, but an in-person event before Corona. Each region’s employees gather in one country of the region or all employees gather in the same country which has headquarters. I heard from some stories before, I felt this event cost a lot of money through real experience. Of course a Japanese company held it in Japan.
Kick-off meetings at U.S companies include drink parties, novelty and the smartphone application which is the same as public events. They spend money. On the other hand, Japanese companies are very serious. They have a tendency not to spend money on something that is not directly related to work. I think this difference doesn’t depend on how much profits they make, it depends on company culture or company awareness.
There are pros and cons to which one is better, needless to say I prefer…
One company rents a high grade office building as a workplace. When this company was acquired by a large company, it was said that “Why do you rent such a high cost building? Do you think its cost was wasted?” CEO of acquired company said “It’s necessary to hire excellent employee, they are very interested in not only that our company gives but what kind of environment they can work in”
Many people say, “If the company itself is attractive, the loyalty of employees to the company will increase even if they do not do that.” Of course, needless to say, corporate initiative or your job are more important. However Japanese companies are so serious, and the larger the company, the less return to employees other than salary. For example, I feel that the U.S companies are generally more conscious in terms of education for employees and work environment. In short, I feel a lot of returns other than salary.
There is talk of job-based employment in order to fight in the world, but nowadays I feel that if Japanese companies fight globally, you need to devise ways to increase employee loyalty from that perspective.
If the company goes bankrupt, we’ll get absolutely nothing out of this.
I hope that COVID-19 goes away soon and you can communicate face-to-face easily.
Thank you and good luck on your encounter with a company.
Recently, in Japan, Hitachi has announced that it will expand job-type employment and introduce it in earnest, which has become a hot topic. Taking this opportunity, I often see the news which handles the difference between job-type and membership-type work styles.
I will omit the difference between job type and membership type because there is a lot of information from others. When I worked at a Japanese company, I experienced that the company introduced job types to some departments based on the membership type. And I’m working at a foreign-affiliated company which adopts a job type. From my experience,
I often think that there is something more important than the employment form, and I would like to share two points among them.
Skill set that works
In my opinion, the required skill is like T-shaped or π-shaped skill sets, regardless of membership type or job type.
In the membership type, the job content is considered to be a general job, and it is true that you cannot reject a job under the contract and you have to carry out various things, but my actual experience is that people who are actually active are rarely forced to perform various duties. If you produce output and exert strong power in the work that you want to do, the department wants you, and the department manager also tries to secure you by various means not to hold on. In order to avoid such a situation, companies often introduce a rotation system according to company regulations, but in reality, it is often the case that they return you to the original department after rotation.
In the case of the job type, the duties are limited and it becomes a profession, but I feel that there are not so many members who are recognized for their talents and work only their own limited duties. Except when you can demonstrate your talent, you have your own area of expertise, you have an antenna for other things, and more or less the attitude of supporting the surroundings of your area of work. It goes without saying that they are welcomed by members within the project. For example, in a foreign-affiliated company, employees are sometimes fired with the abolition of the department. But even then, people who have smooth cooperation with other departments are often transferred to other departments and remain.
Although it is said to be a membership type, people who have areas of specialty are strong, and in the job type, people who have an antenna outside of their area of specialty are strong. I think the probability of getting the job they want to do will increase.
I think that what is more important than this skill is the evaluation system of the company. Differences in membership-type and job-type employment forms are often compared, but it seems that the importance of the evaluation system has not been talked about much.
You usually hear that the rating of the membership type is determined by the length of service, and the job type is determined by the market value of the business. Regardless of whether it is a membership type or a job type, I strongly feel that if a proper evaluation system is not set up, an employment is just a name. For example, like the conventional membership type evaluation, it is not an evaluation system that is clearly understood and not concretely quantified like evaluated from the viewpoint of the boss. I think the worst is the relative evaluation within the company. Even if you achieve 100% of the results,because of members who have achieved more than that, you can not receive 100% evaluation.
In addition, it is often mentioned as a disadvantage that if it is a job type, you will only work your own work and you will not help each other, but it seems that it depends on the evaluation system. For example, establishing a system to help each other would be one of them.
Conversely, even if it is a membership type that has been used for a long time, each department is in silo, there are many departments and employees who can not help the work unless it leads to the number of their own department. Even in the same company, I often couldn’t show the materials from another department because my department is a rival.
Whether it is a job type or a membership type, if the evaluation axis is not correct, the company will not be able to obtain loyalty to the company of employees, and the employees will not be properly evaluated and will leave the company.
I think it’s good to put words first to image, but it’s not easy to immediately change the culture that is rooted in Japanese companies, especially large companies. It is important to understand exactly what the company wants from employees and what kind of evaluation system they have, without being confused by the terms membership type and job type.
The real goal of agile development is “To achieve results on time as promised”
It sounds obvious, but it’s been a long time since agile development became popular, and I also participated as a product owner, looked sideways at the support activities of agile coaches, and had some experience, but I often see this goal is lost.
Specifically, we often see that agile development has an unclear output for the deadline. Therefore, some people recognize that agile development has the advantages of development flexibility, but it has the disadvantage of not achieving results on time, and we often receive such opinions. Isn’t that a mistake?
Originally, whether it is waterfall or agile, the development method is different. In the end both ways should commit output to the promised date and result to the members of the steering committee.
So why is “agile development = cannot promise a goal” ?
This is often due to the premise of a variety of limited resources in the field. For example, even if it’s clear that the number of development members is not enough or members skills in the middle of development, you can’t increase or change members due to cost and required skill. Even if tools are not sufficient, you can’t change the tools due to company security. With such a premise, even if you see behind in the process of agile development towards your goals, you can make improvements with limited resources, but you can’t do much more. Therefore, inevitably, it becomes impossible to commit to the final result.
Agile development is just one of the development methods, and it’s originally one of the elements in a big project. To complete the project, you must meet the deadline and produce output. To that end, not only you introduce agile development, but you need to prepare people, goods, and money to reach our goal. If you look at the burndown chart and the work is behind schedule, you can add human resources, introduce more effective tools, spend money on it, and so on. If nothing is done, it is naturally impossible to recover it with a delay from the plan. When introducing agile development, I feel that you don’t often talk about it from such a viewpoint.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Jeff Sotherland. At that time, Jeff was also concerned about this point. When it comes to agile development, there are many people who feel the benefits of the development method, Scrum and Sprint, but they are misunderstood that they do not commit the results and may not introduce it. He is also had a clear opinion that whether it was waterfall or agile commit to output.
How is agile development around you incorporated into the project? If you are focusing only on development methods, you may be more aware of the essence of agile development if you review it from this perspective.
Every day, I am conscious of highly productive work. It is difficult for individuals to improve, but I feel that improvement including others is more difficult. I happened to come across this book and found it useful so I would like to introduce it.
This book basically focuses on improving productivity through your own improvements from a time management perspective, but some of them are effective with achieving results as a team.
Based on my own experience, I would like to introduce the following three points.
I think that deciding the priority is a very important first step to make the right decision every day.
And in order to make a better decision, it is necessary to think about the goal from the Long-term perspective.
From that future vantage point, look back at yourself, to where you are today, and see the steps that you will need to take to get to where you want to go. This “back from the future thinking” is a practice of many top executives.
I often see that many of the tasks are doing from Short-term perspective. For example, I hear stories that some people feel fulfilled by reading a large number of emails every day. Is it really important?
The matter of e-mail is about personal productivity, as a team, we are often starting from tasks that are not important.
Why would such a decision be made?
I think it’s an incorrect decision because it lacks the Long-term perspective. In many cases, tasks that can be touched immediately, or tasks that are less important due to some pressure, have been touched.
In this book, you often use the four quadrants as an example (I will omit them here).
Many people is focused on high Urgent tasks, and when you notice, you only do tasks that are low important (In many cases, reading mail is not even Urgent)
Increasing Productivity means recognizing these four quadrants every day and properly judging whether it is important what kind of work you are trying to do now.
Most of the important tasks are time consuming. There are many important tasks that you have to prepare well, but suddenly becoming URGENT tasks due to put off. The importance and URGENT change possibly, but first of all, you should share them within the team and increase productivity.
By the way, there is no description in the book and it is my personal opinion, I think that there are various ways of thinking in determining this priority. If it is an individual improvement, you should do what you want to do, as shown in the figure below.
Since you belong to a company, you should be aware of what you should do as a company.
The best thing is that what you have to do, what you want to do, and what you can do are the same, but it is often difficult.
Some people will be able to match what they want to do and what they want to do, while others will be able decide what you want to do or what you can do to define what you should do within the company.
In any case, it is important to define what you should do as a high priority
Calculate the meeting.
The cost of the meeting should be considered.
From experience, some meetings start with “what to do, what to do” without prior preparation.
Of course, I think there are meetings like brainstorming, but that also requires preparation for Brest.
If you have ten people in a room who earn an average of $50 per hour, then it is going to cost $500 out of the bank account of the company for a one-hour meeting.
This book touches on the facilities of the conference room used for meetings and the costs involved in labor costs.
For me, in addition to the cost, I think I have to be aware that it spend much time of people.
At a Japanese company I used to work for, there were a lot of regular meetings and a lot of participants.Some people just participate and not speak, furthermore hide behind their computer and do different things.
I should just have to think below.
・ Are you having a really meaningful meeting?
・ Is the participant appropriate?
・ Advance preparations and advance information will be shared with participants as much as possible.
By being aware of the costs involved, you can increase the number of high-productivity meetings and reduce the number of low-productivity meetings.
It is a matter of course that once work is done, it will not be interrupted until it is completed, and those that are interrupted will be eliminated.
As for myself, for example, I don’t put my smartphone near me, and I keep my desk tidy, which is an interesting and a little painful story, but there are cases like this.
Many people come into work in the morning and begin chit chatting with their coworkers, and then continue for the next two or three hours. In many environments, people don’t really start serious work until about 11:00 a.m., and then soon it is time to break for lunch. After lunch, they come back and chitchat with their coworkers some more, not getting back into the job until 1:30 or 2:00 p.m.
I haven’t done anything extremely like this, but this hits a sore spot.
Chat tools are very useful, and if you have a hurry, you can get in touch faster than email. I think it’s good to use it in an emergency, but it’s not an urgent matter, but I think it’s common for a word that started with a light feeling to stand for tens of minutes before you know it.
start to communicate via chat (which may be peculiar to Japanese people), it is difficult to end and sometimes it continues. It can be painful to start from yourself and stop from yourself. Chatting isn’t bad, but it’s a good idea to refrain from the so-called Chit Chat category that is also mentioned in this book.
By raising your own productivity and at the same time thinking the productivity of others increase productivity more effectively.
This book is written in very plain English, so if you have interests and time, I recommend you to read it.