The Joy Factory: A Visit to Menlo Innovations

April 30, 2013

For an “out of the box” experience for our April 2013 Positive Links Speaker Series session, we toured Menlo Innovations, an Ann Arbor-based software development firm nationally know for its innovative work practices. Menlo CEO Rich Sheridan and his team welcomed us for a visit that included these insights:

  • Honest estimates: Menlo supports a culture of honest estimates of how long it will take to do a given project – there are no penalties for the actual time needed being more or less than originally estimated. They tell clients that 49% of jobs come in under the estimate, 49% come in over, and only 2% at the estimated time.
  • High Tech Anthropologists: Menlo sends teams to the client site to observe and learn firsthand about their culture and practices, to better inform their work for the client. In one case, this resulted in solving a mystery about why a piece of electronic equipment kept failing – workers in the field were unknowingly damaging it.

VIDEO – Interview with Menlo Innovation’s Rich Sheridan and James Gobel