According to the Testing Newsletter , a visitor to the Intern Program sales page is worth $18.50–not bad for a program that actually pays people to work-for-hire. What is it that makes the intern program so profitable, other than the obvious leverage of less-skilled people doing the work that wastes the time of the more skilled? Even though over half the people who sign up never complete the first task, the others do provide value, profit to the business, or the program woudl be shut down. The investment in each task by the business is minimal, as all of the business processes are automated, and much is done by computer rather than person, so ROI is high. Still, we want continuous and never-ending improvement , racheting up each step for effectiveness, more profit.
My newest task is to improve an intern procedure to make it more profitable–not easier to do from the intern’s point of view. I did a mind mapping to find out what makes a given procedure profitable. I don’t know how to assess profitablity of a given process, so this is part of the learning curve, which seems to go straight up this morning.
Until the last procedure, each task was very simple and straightforward, even if it took me out of my comfort zone. However, the last one was several steps, one of which I flubbed, which puts me into the remedial class–at least, that’s how I feel. So now I consider what makes for profitability? Good return on investment of time (efficiency) and energy (effectiveness).
Efficiency–spending less time and effort for the same or better results–could be more profitable, but like working production in a plant, if you continue to exceed the production rate, the rate is simply set higher. A process is not more efficient if it does not keep the quality the same. The question would be how to make it more effective–better results in the same time/energy frame.
I really don’t want to re-create the entire procedure that I just completed, but I don’t see any way around it. I can see a few ways to help a person avoid the glitches I experienced, which would have saved me four or five days of aggravation and troubleshooting. That would certainly be more efficient and profitable to me because I could have created a second product in the time that it took me to troubleshoot why the first one didn’t work and to make the second version when the first did not meet guidelines. On the other hand, would I have learned what I know now, and is that learning profitable to me in terms of getting it done, or would it be profitable to the business interms of bringing more visitors or making more conversions or ???
How then to proceed? Instead of being one task with four steps, each involving a different and new bit of software, it could be expanded into a whole course of study, which puts it beyond the scope of a task. It could be broken down into two tasks, one of which is not explained in the procedure anyway. Should that one be added? The part that needs to be revised is the production end of the task, not the creation end, which basically does not exist in the task anyway.
I’ll pick something else, and try to figure out what to do with the parts of the task assignment that don’t match up with what I have. The good news is that I am certainly learning what I signed up to learn!