INside Track: The Tolerance Imperative

Just as there’s an acceptable tolerance for the variation of a PMS color you’re trying to hit on a print run, there is a balancing act as to how many designers and resources are too much or too little for your group. Too much and you’re on the radar of the beancounters and you’re wasting money – too little and you’re burning out your team and impacting productivity.

Given the tendency of Finance to cut to the bone and beyond, it probably makes more sense to slowly push for the expansion you believe is justified until there’s pushback. Be prepared to fight the good fight if Finance is unreasonable but don’t talk about your or your team’s pain – make it all about productivity (or rather the lack thereof should your team burn out). Being overworked or under-resourced in terms of equipment leads to costly mistakes resulting in longer production times and possibly loss of real dollars for avoidable reprints.

The flip side is that it’s your responsibility to keep your team a lean mean designing machine. Don’t let it get bloated and wasteful. It’s a fine line to walk and one that you’ll need to reassess on an ongoing basis.

One thought on “INside Track: The Tolerance Imperative

  1. Colin McMillan

    I would also add that your arguments should be quantifiable.

    You’ll be in a much better position if you can go to Finance and say we have X number of projects per year, each takes Y number of hours but we only have a capacity of Z hours of work.

    Keeping track of that equation (X + Y – Z = under/over capacity) will also let you know if you’ve gone over capacity.

    Its not fun to track, so just hire someone from Finance into your group to do the math 🙂

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