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bread labor and soul labor 2015  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22347
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I wish to summarize from these two threads: 2011 and 2014

We have a list of all the stuff that we think needs to get done. The list is sorted in priority order by me. A lot of people spend time here at wheaton labs and they don't give a fig about this list. They might not even know that the list exists. But there are a lot of people who come here and wish to help me with this list.

At the same time, some people want to help with stuff at the top of the list and then rest. Other people want to work on things further down the list because they want to build experience with that thing. But, of course, if we just work on things further down the list, then the things at the top of the list tend to not get done.

So we have developed a bit of a vocabulary:

bread labor: stuff at the top of the list.

soul labor: stuff from anywhere on the list.

personal labor: anything that is not on the list. PEP1 stuff (a lot of PEP1 stuff can be tied into the list and become soul labor or even bread labor), personal projects, making your personal space cool, exploring the forests, participating in these forums ...

And it would seem that we shouldn't need to say this, but apparently we do: soul labor is not the same as "a day off" or when you do your laundry or when you knit yourself a pair of mittens. All of these things (day off, laundry, mittens, etc.) are great things and everybody is encouraged to experience the joy of all these things - we just don't label these things as "soul labor". Things like cooking, grocery shopping or cleaning the common space are not soul labor either. Soul labor tends to create artifacts for the long term community - and most importantly, are things that are on "the list".

We've been through several iterations of how to mix in bread labor and soul labor. Currently the system is:

1) everybody works 7 hours a day, five days a week on bread labor. Monday through Friday. 9am to 5pm with an hour off for lunch. 35 hours.

2) Meals are still provided on saturday with the idea that people will choose saturday to do their soul labor or maybe do some PEP1 stuff or whatever. But they can take the day off if they want. Taking the day off is 100% okay.

3) If a person works on soul labor one full day on the weekend, they can have monday to continue with soul labor. If they do soul labor all day saturday and sunday, they can have monday and tuesday for soul labor. In that case, they are putting in three days on bread labor and four days on soul labor. It sounds like a lot of work, but there are some people that are that passionate about building experiences.

I'm not sure that this will always be the case, but I like this latest system best right now. And I have been getting good feedback about it.




 
Eugene Rominger
Posts: 21
Location: Paso Robles,Ca
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Paul , Your vision of the lab will never be as clear to another person as it is to you.
Even if each person gets %80 of your vision few of them will miss the Same %20.

Micromanaging them all is not something you have the bandwidth for.
I believe that you need a 'shop foreman' or even an 'office manager'.
Share your vision with him/her.
let the Foreperson herd the cats, check in when you can and tune in the final %20.

Tim & Kristie are a rare and powerful team, let them trouble shoot and support for the crew.
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 376
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Eugene Rominger wrote:

Micromanaging them all is not something you have the bandwidth for.
I believe that you need a 'shop foreman' or even an 'office manager'.


Designing the work system to fit work habits should minimize the "managing and maintenance" needed for the people. A good crew of people tend to be pretty self-managing when they can work toward the same goals, and micromanaging isn't needed.

There is still a role in architecting and prioritizing "the list" - tasks and timing are important, and a lot of dynamic consideration go into that.

Another quality of a good team is that they will be involved in tuning the system over time - so I would expect some positive change as interactions grow and any problems are oversome.
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
8
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Hey Paul, that sounds like a pretty good system you have going there. When you mentioned the timing of projects it made me think of the first Willie Smits talk at PV1 that you sent out on the daily-ish.

https://vimeo.com/93993847

He had some great ideas about developing a work plan and an economic plan side by side to schedule out his labor and costs. You might try contacting him and seeing if he'd make his system available to you. From the sounds of his set up, you would probably increase your profits dramatically with his techniques.

 
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