A scary thought experiment

· May 27, 2016

Just a short post on a little thought experiment I’ve been testing out.

I am right now in a big company trying to apply agile and lean practices for software development. We struggle because we meet the current organization that is not built to move in the way we want it to.

[Please fill out the rest of the story from your own experience while I yaaawn]



… and now everyone wonders why things take so long and we are not getting more through the system.

[I’ve been through this many times]

I started to ask a question to people I discussed this with:

Imagine if the company, instead of creating a project in the organisation, would have create a new company to solve this problem. First and only employee the current project manager. One goal build the best product you can! Here’s your budget for a year.

Would she had created the organisation we now are in?

I’ve actually asked this question to about 30 people already. Everyone answers in the same way:

Haha - no no no. Of course not.

No way!

Like this - not a chance!

Let me finish the post with a series of questions.

  • Why would she create a company organised like the current project you are in?
  • What would she create instead?

    • What is the difference?
    • Why is that better?
    • What would the company be optimised for?
  • Most PMs I’ve met are smart people, wanting to do good things for the company. Let’s assume that our PM are like that:

    • Why did she set up the project like she did?
    • What is that organisation optimised for?
  • Who believes that it is a good idea to be organised like we currently are?
    • Why?
    • If no one - why are we still doing it?
  • What does the customers, the people that are financing our jobs, want us to do?

If urged to I might give my own answers to the questions above. But to me they serve as a thought provoking, even scary, reminder to always question the status quo and look for something even better. Everyday.

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