Thursday, March 5, 2015

Start-up in large enterprise

Brad Power says this in a blog posting that caught my eye:
"In this world, customers expect their suppliers to surround their products with data services and digitally enhanced experiences. This means that many organizations and their leaders are running as fast as they can to quickly build their software capabilities."

And, for the PMO, it more or less means answering this question posed by Power: "How can these companies overcome the inevitable leadership, organizational, and cultural challenges involved?"

Actually, that's a tall order. Change:
  • Leadership biases, perhaps even biases against doing software at all ("we're hardware ... ", and so forth)
  • Organizational biases, perhaps separating the hardware from the software (OMG! I can't let go of the product software!)
  • Cultural biases, like run fast, when perhaps it's been years since we've done any running
Power claims that there are units within large corporations that have been successful. But Power tells us there were questions that were hard to answer:
  • How to reorganize: project, functional, or some other?
  • Who to run it?
  • In-house or out-source?
  • Where to locate in the world?
  • How to connect and integrate it to existing product lines? (did you ask what "it" is? And, is the mother ship friendly or a foe?)
  • How to change the business scorecard, and
  • How to change compensation plans to go along with these changes (Oh, that's a biggie!)
Probably Power is right when he says address the first two, and then have the team address the remaining questions, though it will take C-level support when you get to the business scorecard and the comp plan.

Oh, did I mention hiring the kind of people you might not have even looked at before? And, by the way, they look different, dress differently, and demand an environment that is likely a lot different.
Should they have the same comp plan and career path, or something custom to their needs?

And, gasp! Agile... we have to put up with that as well. There goes the neighborhood.

This stuff is hard. The main message here: allow for lots of time, because it's going to take lots of time. Don't build any project schedules without some slack; you'll need all you can get.

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