Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it organizational institutionalization was as easy as making a pronouncement of the change, waving your magic wand, saying a few words channeled through your inner warlock, and poof! the change was made. Sadly the real world is far more complex.
Thinking about the operational “how” of your organization, requires deep thinking along many dimensions. In some organizations this is akin to playing three dimensional chess as the complexities of each dimension have ripple effects to across the others. While these dimensions are not always as challenging to think through as the time-space dimension, in order to execute with confidence and clarity, each has to be thought through in an inter-dependent manner.
Strategy and Principles. While a large topic in itself, thinking about this component lines of the important questions of “what do we do?”” and “why do we do it?”. Often neglected the principles of your operation take a position and define your shape to those outside your group.
Services Provided. When you define your organization, you need to tell people why they should knock on your door, and why you will be knocking on theirs. The essence of this is captured in services exchanged. You don’t have to get tot he point of drafting SLA / SLO’s but drawing the boundaries is important.
Processes to be Executed. Once you get the services you will be providing defined, you will now have the hard work of thinking through the processes you will execute to provide those services. No need to get into level 2 or 3 charts just yet, but a clear set of level 1 processes that you can standardize on across your organization will pay efficiency dividends.
Roles. Who will be required to execute these processes. Not names – yet, but what are the roles required for execution and management. Profiles of the key positions would be helpful as well, with an expectation that the profiles will provide enough detail that the HR and recruiting functions could develop a highly targeted search if necessary.
Measures of Success. It will be necessary to define in a quantitative manner what success looks like, and is agreed upon by your peer group. Make success measurable. Make success specific. Make success relevant. Make success within your control.
Governance. How will you make decisions, and as importantly who will be making them? Also remember that the decision making governance that you create for your organization will live with (likely) many other corporate / enterprise governance structures. How will these inter-relate?
Organizational Structure. So far everyone has been able to stay objective and could put themselves into the future state of how this organization should operate. Now it gets personal. It will be necessary to build out an organizational chart complete with names in boxes. I have had many clients want to start here and stay here. I have had clients that once we got to this point in the framework chose to throw out everything that had been discussed up to that point because now it was real. I have also had client’s tell me that this is what matters because “they want to know who determines if they will get their bonus.” – thank you for your honesty. It is definitely true that form follow function, and if you have defined the prior components, the organization structure will naturally fall out. Assigning the names will not.
Over the next few posts I will explore in more detail some of these components in order give them the depth of discussion they need to be properly understood.