Koz Speaks

Enterprise Problem Solving

Over the past 5 years I’ve worked in several large companies, in a few different industries. One thing they have in common is a really interesting1 approach to solving their problems. When confronted with an issue, instead of solving the actual cause of the problem, they change something easy.

First, a concrete example. Take a big bank whose customers complain about waiting in line, they wait so long that whenever they finally make it to a teller they whine about having wasted 35 minutes of their day. If you’re “not ready for the enterprise”, you’d probably suggest something sane like adding more tellers.

But if you’re “enterprise-ready”, you’ll suggest removing all the clocks from your branches

Next, a hyptothetical example. Take a huge insurance company with a bad IT track record. The wrong projects get funded, requirements don’t make any sense, the vendors never meet their SLAs. As a consultant to this company, perhaps you’d consider fixing their requirements process? Or their project prioritisation process? But those things are hard, changing them will take time.

The simplest thing to change is probably one of the following:

  • The organisation structure of your development department
  • The toolset used by your developers
  • The capital-M Methodology you use

Now, I don’t actually know the proper solution to this dillema, but I do know something that’s easy to change…

1. Pathological