How To Avoid The Bus

Published: Friday, July 5, 2024

Transition can be a blur when trying to figure out the least risks!

It was a serene Wednesday at the office when Grace shared with Mike her next chapter outside the company, marking the calendar with a two-week notice. Grace wasn’t just a cog in the machine; she was the architect behind pivotal projects, notably the transition to a new CRM software system. Her servant leadership and track record of success were the catalysts for her colleagues’ drive and ambition. After two decades, her wealth of knowledge was set to depart from the company’s embrace.

Counter offers emerged, yet Grace’s decision was unwavering. Consultancy was suggested, alternative arrangements were discussed, but the clock had already ticked past the eleventh hour. Grace, true to her nature, ensured a seamless handover of her duties, strategizing the delegation of responsibilities to prevent any disruption in the CRM operations. Mike absorbed every ounce of insight and wisdom Grace imparted, yet it was clear that her unique impact was irreplaceable.

The void left by Grace was palpable, not just in productivity but in the spirit of innovation, strategic foresight, and the nurturing of talent. Her legacy continued to echo throughout the company, even a year later, as her legendary status was fondly remembered.

This narrative is all too common in the workplace. We’ve all encountered those irreplaceable individuals whose departure, despite a flawless transition, sends ripples through the organization. It underscores the importance of the Bus Factor Metric.

The Bus Factor can be measured in the following ways:

  • By measuring a project’s resilience in the face of unexpected team member loss. It’s the count of individuals whose absence would stall a project due to a shortage of skilled personnel. Typically assessed as a percentage for teams, a higher percentage indicates a greater risk. The weight of single points of failure varies.

  • By listing criteria that render an individual indispensable and score accordingly. For Grace, it wasn’t just her productivity; it was her nuanced influence that was invaluable.

While there’s no panacea for life’s unpredictability, the absence of collaboration, openness, and investment in people only heightens our susceptibility to the proverbial bus.

Here are some strategies to mitigate the vulnerabilities and can be worked on before, during, and after transition times:

  • Defining and revising criteria for measuring individual impact
  • Prioritizing relationships for collective success
  • Embracing documentation as a core part of delivery
  • Making knowledge sharing a productivity goal
  • Conducting working sessions to map the strategic landscape
  • Creating individual succession plans at all levels

Take Action

Are you ready to make an impact? Start by evaluating the Bus Factor in your team. Share your findings with us and let’s collaborate on building a more resilient future. Reach out to us at Tribal Thirst, and let’s drive change together.