Journey to IT Misarchy (Part Five)
Robert, a lean expert from Big four consulting, must audit the processes of a so-called disruptive startup. But there's nothing like a lean process here...
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Robert comes back on Monday as planned to see the startup he has to audit. Among other things, he had retrieved the legal and financial processes, which he had to have evaluated by the experts of Big four consulting. Unfortunately, or fortunately, they were perfect! Short, simple, precise to the point. There were no flaws, and they were also extremely simple.
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Each time the experts who had the opportunity to see them, had the same thought: "I'm not going to forget to put these documents aside this time!” In short, it was a work of art! So how do you justify your mission? Especially at the rate of Big four consulting! Being short of ideas, Robert thought he could make a pass on the KPIs.
"They are very nice, but I didn't see anything about KPIs! Not a single KPI! If they're in the red, they don't even know it," Robert thought to himself.
Then Sara came along:
"How are you, Robert?"
"Fine, how about you?"
"Good, good, good! How's the process audit going?"
"Well listen, I showed them to all our world's top experts..."
"And?" Sara asks feverishly.
"Well, it's more than perfect! We see absolutely nothing wrong with it!"
"Oh, phew! I was almost scared!"
"No, no, no! Our experts even consider this to be goldsmith's work! Nothing to add, nothing to take away!"
"So I'd like to see if you've defined any KPIs, and if so, which ones?"
"But of course, they're available via our Intranet.
"Are they available to everyone?"
"Yes, of course. Why?"
"No, I'm surprised it's shared so widely! Then it depends on what you put in it!"
"Oh, just a few KPIs, all geared towards corporate performance!"
"No intermediate Kpi?!?"
"No, we're all about performance, that's all!" Answered Sara, with amusement.
"Well, well, and what KPI do you measure then?"
"Well among others the following KPIs: employee turnover, company growth, number of known bugs, time to deploy a new feature, the average productivity per employee, ability to scale, plus a few others".
"But aren't you afraid that if the KPIs get bad, the employees will leave?"
"Well listen, two years ago we had some pretty crucial KPIs that were in the red, and everybody rolled up their sleeves. Nobody quit during that time. It lasted six months, but we all worked hard to get it right!"
"And you don't drive by the means?"
"Do you think our shareholders are leading us by the means?" Sara replied, a little curtly.
"Indeed, I doubt it a little!"
"And you measure scalability as well? How do you do that?"
"It's a bit of a magic formula! It's a whole formula that compares the old numbers with the current ones, to find out if we're good or not. And here you see we have an 18 out of 20. That means we're good, but we've got to keep looking!"
"And you are, in fact, scalable?"
"Well listen, when we open a new market or a new country, modulo market research effort that can be longer sometimes, it just requires us to hire some salespeople. But that's it!"
"Okay... And no one with an IT background?"
"For IT, we hire according to the company's growth. The more we earn, the more we invest in our IT, to differentiate ourselves!"
"Okay..." Robert then became more perplexed than ever about his usefulness on this mission. As if he was being asked to audit the sportsmanship of a Porsche, there is nothing to say.
"I don't think you need me," Robert said directly.
"Oh!" Sara replied, surprised.
"I think you need to keep working like this, maybe set up some meetings with some of the organization gurus, which I can do for you, but not from me."
"All right... and do you know any people we can meet?"
"Yeah, let me set it up in the next few weeks, and I'll get back to you."
"All right, let's do it that way!"
"I'll call you back!"
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