The Beast

You adopt practice to “make the team go”.  However, every practice you adopt has a cost. The time you spend “making the practice go” is somewhat then a cost of making the team go.  I like to talk about the cost of your practices as “Feed the Beast!”  But what you really want to make your team go is to “Ride the Beast!” where the practices we have adopted start to carry the team faster than they could go without them.Continue Reading

A Fascination With Governance

If a little is good, then a bunch must be better, until it isn’t.  I was having a conversation on the train the other day on the way home from work. I was sitting with an acquaintance that I ride with from time to time and we were both complaining about the week we were having. And we started to realize that we were both frustrated by a similar problem – but seen from a different view.

My friend told a story about how he had to travel on business and how he had found a hotel closer to his client’s offices so he wouldn’t need cab service. The problem was that the hotel was not part of his company’s preferred vendor list, and it was $10 more expensive than the hotel 30 minutes away that was preferred. His experience from previous trips showed that he spent $45 on cab fair, so the net savings would have still been $35. So far, so good. However, since the hotel was not a preferred vendor, his expense needed management approval. So he went to his manager, and yada, yada, yada – the CFO of his business unit had to sign the form before he could get his expenses approved, even with a $35 savings. My guess is that that the cost of all the management attention on this expense cost his company something close to $250. So much for the $35 savings – his little deviation from policy cost $215.Continue Reading