Journey to IT Misarchy (Part Three)
Following the two first episode, Robert from Big Four Consulting, a lean expert, is going to read the welcome book of this called “disruptive startup”.
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First page. Just a blank page with a text:
"Please leave the company if you don’t think you’ll enjoy working here. We give you $10,000 bucks to leave if you want to."
Robert thinks he should apply to get that $10,000 back! Let's skip it, let's see what's on page two.
"Do what you think is right. Pretend your company is your company." A little simplistic, isn't it?
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Then, the welcome book recites the values that employees must share. Several values are quite classic, but three of them are of interest to Robert:
- "We are concerned for values, but not for politics."
- That's clearly stated! Small political games are prohibited, which intrinsically implies that the organization is quite flat. One of Robert's roles indeed is to reshape organizations while caring about political games. In practice, this means talking to many people, hanging out at the coffee machine to feel the atmosphere, all to understand internal political alliances and games, and thus adapt his recommendations.
- The second point that surprises Robert is the sentence "Keep it small stupid", explaining that even if the company's ambition is to grow strongly, the organization must rely on teams on a human scale.
- It is thus explained that the organization on paper must be like a fractal, but at the same time, each sub-organization must remain in a position to exchange with the other sub-organizations.
- As a result, each member of an "atomic" team is responsible for the team's relationship with X other teams. And a member has the role of dealing with all relationships that would be "out of the ordinary".
- The third point: "Processes only serve if they serve non-core business tasks."
- Robert is confused because his job is to design core business processes! The book then explains that processes engulf employees, even though the company needs to adapt quickly and simply, and that it was out of the question to review processes every day!
- Robert then thought that the companies he had audited in the past were not companies whose business model or core business was changing significantly. Their "only" goal was to do more with less, to reduce costs. Robert was wondering what he could bring to this startup! The only thing he could do was to evaluate the non-core business processes they had established and then follow employees in their daily work.
Robert finished reading the book and went to meet Sara Kensky, the mission's client manager, and suggested that to do so.
"Oh yes, no problem!" Sara said to him. "Maybe we could look at these processes for today, and then come back tomorrow morning to follow a typical employee or employees in their work?" Sara then suggested to him: "We could have a scrum master and an architecture manager to follow, they will be people who see many transversal subjects pass through". "All right, let's do it like that!"
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