The development team at smartphone app company Kwalee has been given the ongoing opportunity to spend 20 percent of their weekly office hours on personal projects.
Programmers and artists at Kwalee are given Wednesdays to develop projects of their own choosing, individually or in groups, whilst still working very hard on Kwalee’s debut iPhone app, codenamed ‘Vegemite’, in the remainder of their time. We have created a short video where the staff explain how this new idea will help our game development process.
The theory is developed from Google’s famous and successful 80/20 time policy where employees spend 80 percent of their contracted work hours on Google assignments, and the other 20 percent on company-related tasks that interest them.
David Darling, CEO, explains how the free time will benefit the Kwalee workforce.
“Each member of the development team is given a duration of a few months to complete each personal project. We encourage them all to maximise their time management and creative skills enhancing both their productivity as well as the company’s.”
Kwalee’s decision to allow their developers a fifth of their weekly hours motivates the opportunity to build more innovative and exciting apps for the company.
Within the Google team, successful technologies to come out of this method include Gmail, Google News and AdSense.
Darling adds: “We hope this free time improves creative thinking within the development team, in order to develop even more exciting ideas for Kwalee.”
The 80/20 rule is properly named the “Pareto Rule”, after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population. Numbers proved that 80 percent of outcomes came from 20 percent of the inputs.
Google morphed the “Pareto Rule” into Innovation Time Off (ITO), where 20% of the week focuses on innovation, while the remaining 80% focuses on “core” responsibilities.
Now Kwalee has taken the Google principle and added firstly, the focus of time limitation of projects to it so as to achieve even more productivity and creativity. And secondly, adding the active encouragement to do what game developers want to do most; making their own personal game projects, or tweaking existing projects in ways they normally could not. All of which will be reflected in upcoming games.
Details of their debut game codenamed ‘Vegemite’ can be found on their website at www.kwalee.com
Kwalee is a startup company based in Leamington Spa to develop and publish apps for mobile devices. Founded by David Darling CBE who has many decades of experience at the top level of the video game industry with contributions to very many #1 games on many platforms in his CV. Kwalee is different. We seek to excite and entertain our customers with innovative new products that provide special experiences. Our ethos is based around a set of core values that put the customer first and which harness the creative skills of our staff to the maximum in order to do so. Kwalee is still at its very beginning and so is very actively looking for those special people who want to join us in our exciting journey.