The Velocity of Bureaucracy
Michael Ducy
Opscode
@mfdii
The Velocity of Bureaucracy
Michael Ducy
Opscode
@mfdii
The Hypothesis:
Orgs are really slow to do shit
Why?
Natura abhorret vacuum
-Aristotle
Parkinson’s Law:
"work expands so as to fill the time
available for its completion"
Also known as:
We tend to be lazy
procrastinating fuckers.
In a reduced timeline we
tend to be more productive.
(or it appears that way)
Also:

The Law of Multiplication of Work
Person “A” becomes too busy.
Has 3 choices: Resign, Split the
Work With B, or hire C and D
And then of course:
C and D need help and repeat
the behavior of A. Now you
have an org of 7
A
C

D

E

G

F

H
“An incoming document may well
come before each of them in turn.
Official E decides that it falls within
the province of F...
But G goes on leave at this point,
handing the file over to H, who
drafts a minute, which is signed by
D and returned to C...
But that would never happen?

Would it?
Add to this:
Parkinson’s Law of Triviality
(Also known as Bike Shedding)
Let’s build a Nuclear Reactor for
$100 Million = OK!

Let’s build a Bike Shed for $350 =
Well, should it have a steel roof...
A, C, D, E, F, G, H all debate the
trivial details, because that is the
domain of what they can
understand or comprehend.
Small orgs are more flexible,
nimble, agile, and faster
Empower your people and
GTFO of the way
Else we are all fucked
The Velocity of Bureaucracy
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The Velocity of Bureaucracy

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Ignite talk from Cloudstack Collab Conference EU 2013 held in Amsterdam.

C. Northcote Parkinson is quickly becoming widely quoted for ideas like "Bike Shedding". Let's talk quickly about Parkinson's Law and Parkinson's Law of Triviality and why Bureaucracies are so slow.

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The Velocity of Bureaucracy

  1. 1. The Velocity of Bureaucracy Michael Ducy Opscode @mfdii
  2. 2. The Velocity of Bureaucracy Michael Ducy Opscode @mfdii
  3. 3. The Hypothesis: Orgs are really slow to do shit
  4. 4. Why? Natura abhorret vacuum -Aristotle
  5. 5. Parkinson’s Law: "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"
  6. 6. Also known as: We tend to be lazy procrastinating fuckers.
  7. 7. In a reduced timeline we tend to be more productive. (or it appears that way)
  8. 8. Also: The Law of Multiplication of Work
  9. 9. Person “A” becomes too busy. Has 3 choices: Resign, Split the Work With B, or hire C and D
  10. 10. And then of course: C and D need help and repeat the behavior of A. Now you have an org of 7
  11. 11. A C D E G F H
  12. 12. “An incoming document may well come before each of them in turn. Official E decides that it falls within the province of F, who places a draft reply before C, who amends it drastically before consulting D, who asks G to deal with it.”
  13. 13. But G goes on leave at this point, handing the file over to H, who drafts a minute, which is signed by D and returned to C, who revises his draft accordingly and lays the new version before A.
  14. 14. But that would never happen? Would it?
  15. 15. Add to this: Parkinson’s Law of Triviality (Also known as Bike Shedding)
  16. 16. Let’s build a Nuclear Reactor for $100 Million = OK! Let’s build a Bike Shed for $350 = Well, should it have a steel roof or shingles?
  17. 17. A, C, D, E, F, G, H all debate the trivial details, because that is the domain of what they can understand or comprehend.
  18. 18. Small orgs are more flexible, nimble, agile, and faster
  19. 19. Empower your people and GTFO of the way
  20. 20. Else we are all fucked

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