When the producers scream for output, the Artists crave for creative space and freedom. This has always been a debate in a very subjective and creative industry like Animation & Visual FX. I have very definite opinion on this out of experience and I believe in that. Such is the way of the world. Unless we find a balance, life is not going to be easy for any one.
It is easy to say that both are equally important. But when it comes to this creative industry, the word ‘productivity’ gains a different dimension altogether. Here productivity is not really mechanical that can be counted. It all depends on the spark of that particular person in a particular time and space and also knowing where to stop. Though it is seemingly tangible, it is really not. At the same time, when we are in this as a part of entertainment as a business, without a tangible result, it does not make any sense.
For any artist with passion, being always under the pressure of time while creating something cannot give any satisfaction for him or her. Neither would the result be acceptable. But then, when one is not working on an independent creation, he or she is bound by time and resources. This is the norm for any major creative activity involving a team.
The reality is that, we cannot survive in this business if we are not sensible to time and money.
However, I have a thought which I believe makes sense for any organization that is focused on efficiency and productivity without compromising the creative. As I understand, objective of any organization is to make sure that they complete the tasks satisfactorily within a given time using given resources. AS long as this is done and the assumptions are right, the organization cannot fail. And in order to understand the issue better, we need to define ‘Productivity’ & ‘Discipline’.
When we talk about Productivity, are we talking about individual productivity or team productivity? Which is more important? This is definitely a point to debate. My view is that monitoring ‘Team Productivity’ is more important than running after ‘Individual Productivity’. There could be different views. But I feel an organization with a clear objective should be more bothered about team productivity rather than spending time on picking ion the individual productivity. This is because achieving individual productivity need not necessarily ensure team productivity which leads to a dangerous scenario in which the organization fails to achieve its objective.
When we talk about Discipline, are we talking about personal discipline or work discipline? Is it the discipline to achieve individual things for what they are paid for? Is it the discipline in honouring the commitments made by the organization to the clients as well as to their employees? Both are important.
When it comes to personality discipline, this can be interpreted as the discipline in attire, behaviour, being available for certain number of hours within the premises, discipline in the working methods, discipline in interacting with the peers, seniors and juniors, etc. The sad fact is that all these so called discipline lose sheen, when the organization’s objective is not met. The good part is that all these fallacies can be corrected by counselling the identified defaulters without jeopardising the whole ambience in which the genuine people enjoy their work and achieve the team’s objectives.
Looking at all the above, the objective of completing a task in a given time using the given resources sticking to the requirements demanded by specific jobs is paramount. And this can be achieved only if the people work together for a common goal, the goal of achieving a specific task in a specific time.
This is also very important considering the fact that the team is made up of individuals and the organization is made up of teams. Let us discuss the issue of evaluating the individuals and assessing whether he or she is really doing what they could best based on their skill set and also based on what they get as salaries. This decides the individual productivity.
No one would like to be blamed for being the weak link in a team that fails. That will not be a good situation for the failed artist and also for the other members of the team. It is nature’s law that the weak part of a team would be either brought up to the standards or thrown out so that the team doesn’t sink. He or she who doesn’t help or not capable enough to help the team to achieve the team’s objective should be replaced without losing time.
It is very difficult for anyone to vouch for the accuracy and authenticity of the captured productivity data as long as the same happens in the conventional methods like forms, access control, personal judgement, etc. The best way of evaluating an individual would be by capturing his or her productivity using some back end methods. Any method with human intervention can cause inaccuracy.
THE TEAM METHOD:
The positive attribute to this industry is that no ‘individual’ can alone achieve what the organization wants simply due to the nature of the work. It is all teamwork!
An artist can perform the best when nobody towers on them and keep asking output. An artist can perform the best when they don’t feel the breath of his supervisor’s on one’s neck. All he needs to focus is what he can do to make sure that his team achieves the set objective. Let every artists feel that they are a part of the team that performs to achieve the desired objective.
Once a Team Lead is assigned with a task or a set of tasks to be completed and given the resources as per the budget, the team need to be left alone and need to be monitored only once in a week to match the tasks the given.
In this method, though the individual artists are given individual tasks, it becomes the responsibility of the team to complete the overall tasks. This makes the team members to jump in and complete the tasks left out by others or the ones who happens to be absent for some reasons. It becomes more of a give and take for the entire team. This way a team spirit gets built up.
End of the day, what is to be achieved by the organizations gets achieved and the team is rewarded by way of project incentives once that project is over. All are happy.