And what if the number of hours dedicating to my optimization tasks would be a good indicator?
It is a matter of the fact that I have to perform many tasks every day, every week throughout the year. And, even though I would like to be entirely dedicated to optimization actions, it cannot be. I would assume it is the same for all of us as yield managers.
Depending on our expertise, our background, our company organization, its strategy to achieve its goals, we have to take many duties over. It can also depend on the tools we have available to perform our tasks. It is not the same having to extract data in a workable format, crunch them from the operating system, jump into analysis using an excel-pivot table or an access-database versus having most of the data pre-digested by a revenue management system.
Practicing, practicing, over and over again
I read the book of Idriss Aberkhane recently, and I found interesting his way of evaluating the skills of a person assigned to a particular topic. For him, the number of hours spent by any individual does impact his/her expertise.
His concept is based on the regular practice to improve any work to turn it in a real expertise. Imagine: you get a poem of a classical author. You have five minutes to prepare it before going on stage to recite it in front of an audience. Your performance would undoubtedly be pretty miserable, spending most of your time reading the book.
Now, if you have five hours to get prepared, no doubt, you will have time to get into the poem, to understand its meaning and preparing an excellent way to recite it. What about if you have 50 hours like any actor or actress? How good would you be?
Same for a ski professional. How many turns and slides are required to get a gold medal at Olympic Games? Inevitably, over a million during all your sporting life. Can the actor or the ski professional achieve the perfect performance or win the gold modal final without something more than merely a regular practice?
How many hours should I spend to improve my efficiency?
Back to my daily yield management tasks, what would be possible to take from these practices? The time spent on the pricing analysis, tactical actions, performance measurement, data integrity is crucial.
– 5 hours: if I dedicate 5 hours a year to my pricing, it may be limited to a seasonal rate grid update.
– 50 hours: if now, I devote 50 hours a year on my yield tasks, this means that I will dedicate around 5 hours per month on the optimisation
– 500 hours: reaching this step is a significant company change. Indeed, after having measured a good performance in one operation, the company management decided that it would make sense to spend around one-third of my time on the yield management
– 5000 hours: at this level of hours dedicated, the yield management has become a specific service within the organization. And I am not alone anymore: I have two assistants. They must look at pricing analysis every day and set the inventory controls in détails.
Undoubtedly, the dedication in time spent on one task, no matter if it is a professional or a personal one, has a direct effect on the level of expertise. Interesting enough: the number of hours recorded is one of the criteria used by aircraft pilots to justify their experience on a particular plane. The more they have, the more situation they have faced and the more experience they have to handle them.
So, how many hours do I spend on my yield management every year? And what about you?
If you want to know more
Book reference : “Libérez votre cerveau ! Traité de neurosagesse pour changer l’école et la société” Idriss Aberkane (Auteur) Serge Tisseron (Préface), essay, editor Robert Laffont