Friday, June 06, 2008

Update on Bureaucracy and Constraints

This is an update to my previous post on the subject.

Indeed I was able to find an option to reduce some overhead in my area. By using shared files instead of duplicated information I was able to reduce some bureaucratic overhead with reporting.

And here is another example: The PMO (Project Mangement Office) in our organization has decided to define a new charter for themselves in order to clarify their role and responsibilities. We started with a draft that had about 6 or 8 pages. We ended up with a net amount of about 1 page when we finished refactoring. That way we reduced waste.

And the biggest fun was from my perspective that the entire group participated and contributed to simplifying the document. It's now really lean and mean!

I'm sure we are able to do the same thing for other items again. We have the opportunity to become a really lean organization. It seems important to me to alway be on the lookout for opportunities to reduce waste, to try to find simpler solutions, to remove barriers.

If you build too many fences you will be surrounded by sheep. I think that in the age of internet communities like Facebook or Twitter people are looking for flatter hierarchies, more self-organization, and more freedoms. Everything else equal, people will choose to work for a company that comes close to the ideologies that is underlying the new online communities.

Managers that continue to use a management approach that might have worked 10 years ago will eventually loose out. Instead of administrative management, we need inspiring leadership that unleashes the creativity of the people in a learning organization. And in my view one important ingredient is collaborative decision making.

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