Last time I blogged, I mentioned that adding extra creatives to a project is one area where extra people can make a disproportionately good difference. Well I implied that.
As with all things, it depends; but if what you need are many creative assets created in line with a brief, I do find that adding extra creatives to the team doesn’t just result in an expanded throughput, it ups the quality. There’s a synergy in creative activities which seems to result from creatives talking about, and sharing inspiration from, their own and each other’s art. I’ve seen this work best for graphical creatives, but I’ve also seen this work for wordsmiths as well.
I find it interesting, and I also find it inexplicable. It ought to work for other intellectually-driven activities too, but somehow.. it doesn’t. The complex interdependencies of coding make that kind of inspirational collaboration something you only see on rare, beautiful occasions, and you can’t plan for it. The nature of testing isn’t something where someone else’s results help inspire you to .. find more bugs. Infrastructure engineers sometimes work in pairs the way programmers often do, and with a similar improvement on quality of outcome as pair programmers get – but seldom, and not reliably. It’s only creatives who seem to really boost each other’s performance in this way.
Or perhaps I’ve just been consistently spoiled in the creatives I’ve worked with?
(In the interests of balance I should add that I can’t imagine getting a gang of creatives to collaborate on a single individual deliverable together and that having the same magical effect)
It does make me wonder whether there’s a way to get the same effect with extra coders, but without the inherent additional complexity you usually get from independent code generation.