We Have The Technology…

We Have The Technology…

Did you know that some companies have applied development/engineering principles to their organisations as a whole? Very few, granted. But it does happen. I mean, they intentionally design their organisation, its structures, processes, systems (human- and technology- both), interactions, the way the work works, etc. to better meet certain business goals.

And the resulting organisational “operating systems” look very different to the copycat, zombified, cargo-culted, grow’d-like-topsy majority.

The general idea gained some attention – and then notoriety – under the label Business Process Reengineering, circa the late nineteen nineties. Of course, like many ideas before then – and e.g. Agile, Lean, etc. since – those folks of the Analytic mindset bought into the reported benefits, without realising the change in mindset that successful adoption/application of BPR required. When the expected benefits failed to appear, they both canned and vilified the idea. It wasn’t long before the whole shebang was consigned to the trashcan of history.

Why bring up the whole sorry tale once again?

I’ve been musing on what it means to be a world-class software (software) engineering organisation. What happens when we happily apply engineering principles to the development of products, but ignore those principles when it comes to how the organisation operates across the board? To the development of the organisation itself? Is that a sure-fire recipe for Organisational Cognitive Dissonance?

And if we have a cadre of folks who understand and embrace engineering disciplines and principles in the building (development) of products, why not put those talents to good use in the service of building an organisation with world-class operational capabilities? In all aspects of running the business?

Although, there’s always the possibility that an organisation espouses becoming a world-class engineering company, yet has insufficient grasp of what “world-class engineering” means to be able – or willing – to apply it in the whole-business context.

Would you be willing to share your thoughts?

– Bob

1 comment
  1. yw said:

    I think it has to do with the motivation of the higher ups in the companies. My impression is that too often administrations are more inclined to see things from a controlling perspective rather than look at how much more effective they could be if they allowed their employees to work in ways that would be best for them. It also would require vulnerability on their part, by admitting that perhaps they do not have all the answers. They feel more secure making a decision and then giving an order.

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