If Only We Were Just a Bit Bigger…

Have you ever found yourself pondering what it would be like if your agency had just a bit bigger development team?

  • You could start mentoring your juniors because you have that new senior developer now.
  • You could do code reviews because everyone wouldn’t always be working at 100% capacity.
  • You could formalize your project workflow because the team would finally be rounded out.
  • You could start offering services in that new framework because you hired the right person to take it on.

Is that how it would look? Or, would scaling up your team look more like this?

Sidenote: The metaphor here of juggling is not lost on me as a software manager.

You’ll see in the video that at first, Mike Boyd starts “juggling” just one apple. Easy enough, right? Most of us can self-manage just fine.

Within minutes, though, he adds a second apple. It’s a bit more tricky and he does drop the apples quite a few times, but he’s making it work decently well. Remember your first hire?

At only 10 minutes of learning to juggle (and having just dropped in his previous attempt), Mike grabs the third apple and gives it a go. It’s no surprise he drops again and the apples are getting pretty well bruised up by this point.

Nobody expects Mike to be able to juggle within 10 minutes, but the issue is that he hasn’t mastered juggling two balls well enough. He hasn’t trained his eyes where to look or his hands to toss effectively and correct for mistakes. Sure, he can force his way through to juggling three balls, but not without a basket full of busted fruits and vegetables.

How badly bruised will your team end up if you blindly charge towards that “ideal” future team size? What’s stopping you from practicing at building your dream agency today with the team you’ve got?