Mar 12 2015

Marginal gains matter..

At MojoTech, we’re always looking to achieve huge goals. We produce exceptional work because we’ve perfected the ways in which we approach a project. We work within a set of rigorous coding standards. We put an emphasis on collaboration by making the client part of our team. We build, test, and learn together and as a result we are very, very good at what we do. But in order to stay on top of our game, we’ve also acknowledged the concept of marginal gains. The aggregation of tiny things we can do to optimize specific aspects of our performance.

Team Sky

The most famous example of success by marginal gains came by way of the British cycling team’s coach, Dave Brailsford. In 2010, Dave believed that making a one percent improvement in each area of his athletes’ overall performance could lead to significant success over time. His athletes diets, equipment, massage gels, even the best pillows for a more restorative night’s sleep were optimized to make up those one percent differences.

In 2012 a British cyclist won the Tour De France for the first time in its 99 year history. Later that year Team GB dominated the cycling events at the summer Olympic games, taking over 70% of the gold medals. Under Dave’s tutelage, 2013 brought Britain yet another Tour de France win.

Taking a cue from Coach Brailsford, what is MojoTech doing to optimize our performance?

For our developers these tiny gains come from seemingly trivial means, such as optimizing their development environment, mastering their editor’s keyboard shortcuts, and automating build processes and deployment. Back in February, Aaron wrote about getting in the habit of Optimizing Your Code for Clarity on the Mojo blog.

He wrote:

“If you can read a piece of code and understand immediately what it is doing, you’ll end up saving more time than if you wrote the most succinct code which can end up being slower to read. Clarity has a huge payoff but can be difficult to master.”

When it comes to our own properties, we’ve been making rolling updates to our website and improving our SEO has been the perfect opportunity to make a series of small changes to perfect our search referrals. We are painstakingly auditing content, graphics and animations, inbound links, canonicalization issues -- you name it, we’re tweaking it.

We aid project management, by arranging our office space to group members of the same team together. The ability to turn to your right and speak to someone face-to-face fosters better communication and reduces the amount of time spent messaging and waiting for answers.

Team Sky got better saddles, we got UpDesks.

Even our business operations found ways to improve their processes by simplifying how we handle PTO requests and travel reimbursements. As MojoTech grows, everyday efficiencies is what keeps our engine running optimally.

But why is the aggregation of marginal gains truly important your business? Because over time these small improvements or declines compound and one day you’ll wake up and notice a very big gap between the companies making marginally better decisions and those who hadn't bothered. MojoTech actively strives to be the former.

How is your company making marginal gains? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter: @MojoTech

~ Courtney