Client & HR Analysis

Client Focus Efforts

In the mixed reality sector,  most startup content creation studios will often find themselves supporting larger studios, which typically have distribution channels that can handle millions of viewers, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. Additionally, startups will find work with businesses in other industries that are interested in exploring and adding VR/AR content to their offerings, but are not willing to commit much in the way of time and resources. Startups will also frequently augment transitioning teams that need technical support.

In the location-based entertainment (LBE) sector, as new new technology emerges, theme parks and virtual arcades will also present opportunities for VFX-heavy content creation studios. Capturing business will require studios to push the boundaries of their technical wealth of expertise by cultivating auxiliary capabilities in programming, robotics, engineering, fabrication. Deciding which direction to focus on in order to maximize client satisfaction, can be exceptionally difficult with tight budgets and strict deadlines.

Decision Under Risk

In the early days of the studio, there will not be enough time and resources to commit to every idea. Additionally, there is a certain level of risk in each decision being made that needs to be quantified and factored into the overall decision making process. Business development, loyalty management, opportunities and leads, sales strategy, quotes and proposals, sales force management and sales funnel management were the areas identified as areas with the best odds of success. The top three ideas for each department were charted and broken down for further analysis.In the chart below, is a chart showing the decision process for a number of ideas presented at a brain storming session.

Utility Function

Let’s suppose that only a portion of the funding becomes available for one department, Loyalty Management. As a manager, do you invest in a Key Client Engagement Program with a probability of 90% and a payoff of $1.6 million? What about funding the research and creation of a Customer Satisfaction Action Plan to guide the department over the next year since it is the investment with the least amount of risk? What if instead of adding new programs and plans, funding was allocated to supporting and enhancing future endorsements and deals? Which of the three ideas should be chosen?

On the slide show below, are utility function charts and their underlying tables, based on the methodology found in the lecture paper, Preferences and Utility, by Simon Board [18]. These chart show how risk and payouts are taken into account in this scenario. Given that fact that adding a Key Client Engagement Program has a high utility is was not apparent if it would be the right choice, however, in comparison to the other two plans the risk was better managed and the payoffs greater making it a solid choice for investment.

Human Resources Analysis

Recruiting, retaining and training staff is a complex task in the mixed reality field. Many schools have yet to offer dedicated degrees in the sector and the cross industry nature and rapidly evolving landscape make it challenging for those that do to offer up-to-date, comprehensive programs. Yet, having a strong cohesive team of people is the foundation for any business to thrive, so what approach should studios take? Studios looking to maximize efforts should deploy a variety of analytical approaches to their existing HR efforts. Moreover, HR managers needs to understand how;

  • well the staff performs,
  • efficient worker are in the business,
  • what cultures exist across the organization,
  • gaps in core inefficiencies, and
  • staff turnover rates are effecting their business [19].

Management Flowchart

One of the areas, where analytics can be applied to high level thinking in HR, is presented in the Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (OODA) chart below. In this example of the OODA loop, are a series of procedures as detailed by a HR policy that demonstrate several linear events necessary to process an action or innovation. Let’s suppose that the process currently being vetted is found to be time consuming and inefficient.

Perhaps a document that must be signed off on by numerous people in a succession before the employee can be interviewed is slowing down the hiring process.  During orientation the observations are analyzed and filtered four ways. Let’s suppose these processes reveal that cultural and financial processing has historically followed the above mentioned inefficient linear path over the course of a number of years. Additionally, heritage and legacy policies might be responsible for documents that are still being signed in duplicate, and triplicate, in some cases, which is adding extra time and unnecessary cost.

Using the analysis on the data, while applying guidance and control, “the process could be streamlined by multiple parallel processing versus linear processing” [20].  In this example, the document could be uploaded to a web portal and distributed to every person in the process instantly. Feedback and communication would increase and allow the looped process to proceed more smoothly and to become more accurate over time.

Recognition-Primed Decision Model

HR decisions need to be made quickly and there is little room for error. Since, time is of the essence and there are multiple opportunities for managers to experience and engage in the process hands on, a Recognition-Based Decision Model is the best approach available. In the Recognition-Based Decision Model below, there are three main areas;

  • identification and conceptualization,
  • situational assessment, and
  • performance evaluation.

This is a dynamic and highly volatile situation. Consider, the shortage in the marketplace and the lack of training. If even a handful of people leave gaps in the staffing by retiring, moving, firing, etc…, it is not inconceivable that the entire enterprise could collapse under impending deadlines. In order to get the best candidates and the highest skilled staff, decisions will need to keep up with the pace of the business.

During the first phase, goals are scrutinized to make sure that they are in line with the business requirements. At this stage the situation is being experienced in a changing context. Then, the HR Managers use recall and historic records to determine, if the situation happened before. At this part of the phase, HR Managers begin formulating thoughts and thinking broadly about the situation. The Manager might deploy an action at this stage, if there is familiarity or similarity to a preexisting situation. The process is still somewhat simple and straightforward at this phase.

Then in the second phase, the process takes places again, only this time, if the situation is not familiar, the HR Managers will definitively seek clarification and add anomaly detection into the process. As the team recognizes the situation, they will gain insights into the four byproducts of recognition: goals, cues, expectancy, and actions [21]. In model below, insights are gained through situational awareness of projects and priorities, specific goals and sub-goals, significant indicators and the HRM strategy. The team might be able to propose another change or addition to the HRM Strategic Plan.

Finally, in the last phase, the HR Managers will experience the situation, define is the situation is familiar, use recognition and potentially visualize an end state. If the strategy still fails, the HR  Manager may reevaluate their awareness of the situation. As each response is examined, the HR Manager simulates how the response will achieve the goal. If the HR Management Team decides that the HRM Strategy being considered will work, then they will accept it as their decision and implement it.

HR Diagram

“Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” – Thomas John Watson Sr., IBM [22].