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Managing in the whitespace of your organization
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Managing in the whitespace of your organization






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Managing in the whitespace of your organization Managing in the whitespace of your organization Presentation Transcript

  • Managing in the Whitespace of an Organization JeffreyGifford@gmail.com
  • What’s “whitespace” andwhere is it in my organization?
  • Typical “Top-Down” Hierarchy
  • Servant-Leaderstyle works well in this structure Typical “Bottom-Up” Hierarchy
  • Typical Web-2.0 Hierarchy
  • What Web-2.0 can really look like
  • The opportunity to improve anorganization is frequently found in the whitespace of the organization chart.
  • Engineering Group One Operations GroupTelling Stories Engineering Group Two A Tale of Three Teams
  • Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organizations communication structure. Conway’s Law
  • ed op Corollary to Conway’s Law osPr Teams communicate the way they’re organized?? (maybe)
  • Communication . . .Communication . . .Communication . . . Communication . . .Communication . . . Communication . . . Communication . . . If you’re organized in functional silos . . . you’ll . . . it is likely that waycommunicate
  • Telling StoriesServer Deployment • 33 points of “touch” • 9 internal systems • 8 functional units • 2 data centers • 16 weeks duration • $3.5MM (US) annually
  • Organizational structures create artificial boundaries that may introduce extra steps in processes, such as excessive handoffs between teams. Gartner
  • Telling StoriesServer Deployment Transformation • 2 weeks duration (on average) • 2 internal systems • 8 functional units • 2 data centers • 3.5MM annually
  • Lessons Learned• Whitespace has different laws of gravity – No staff, No budget, No authority – Easy to be passed over – Unofficial “projects” may be better• Elements of skunkworks – Stay hidden until ready to go supersonic• Take problems off people’s hands – Provide people’s payoff early• Know your numbers (financials & widgets)
  • Tools• Servant-leadership• Define the terms• ITIL concept of Service Management• Walking around• Meeting people• Connecting people (Radar O’Reilly)• Graphs and charts that tell stories• Think, think, think
  • Bibliography• Brooks, F. (1975). The Mythical Man-Month: essays on software engineering. Addison-Wesley.• Conway, M. (1968). How do committees invent? Available: http://www.melconway.com/research/committees.html. Last accessed 20 May 2008 (updated 12/2010).• DeMarco, T and Lister, T. Peopleware: productive projects and teams. (1987).• Maletz, M and Nitin, H. (February 2001). Managing in the Whitespace. Harvard Business Review. 102-111.• Office of Government Commerce (2007). ITIL Service Strategy. United Kingdom: The Stationary Office. 121-122.• Scott, D and Holub, E and Pultz J. (20 November 2006). Organizing for IT Infrastructure and Operations. Gartner Research. G00137083.• White, E. (2008). Art of Persuasion Becomes Key. Available: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121115784262002373.html. Last accessed 20 May 2008 (updates 12/2010).
  • JeffreyGifford@gmail.com For more thoughts on“Managing in the Whitespace” visit http://JeffreyGifford.com