Jun 19, 2012

Development "vs." sales dilemma in lean startup methodology

The lean startup approach forces adherents to focus on development and sales in new product / company development, which creates a hen and egg issue: you need to do both, developing and sales. One issue with developing the perfect product is that nobody (or too few for the price and development cost) will want to buy it - hence the requirement to go out and find customers (and learn what they have to say, how they want it changed and so on).
However, if you go out early with a crappy product / design, it may hurt you in terms of reputation esp. if you get a wide exposure and are 'burnt'. So you have to be really cautious in finding mainly those that are interested and not losing too many that will not like what you created.
It's an iterative process where you follow sales and tech development routes at the same time. That is likely to be draining your attention and resources. Basically you have to focus on two things at the same time. Impossible if you do not have the people to do the tasks and processes to interface them properly.

What is organization design? - Nicolay Worren

Blog post by Nicolay Worren on What is organization design?

“Organization design” involves the creation of roles, processes and structures to ensure that the organization’s goals can be realized.
Some people associate organization design with the mechanical arrangement of positions and reporting lines on the organization chart. It is certainly true that organizational designers also need to define the vertical structure, including reporting lines. However, organization design is much more than “boxology”. Organization design problems are often some of the hardest problems that leaders face. The decisions they make with regard to formal structure, roles and processes directly impact the jobs and careers of employees – and the ability of the firm to realize its strategic objectives. ...

Discussion on complexity measurement in LinkedIn Orga Design Group

I posted on organizational complexity reduction in what might become an interesting discussion on Linkedin's Organizational Design Community:
"If you meant me wrt defining complexity: The use is made from a 'pragmatic usage perspective' focussed on the need to measure a proxy and certainly somewhat in flux. It may be that complication is the better term as hinted at above, but I need to know more about the understanding of complication here.
So, I would measure it ('complication-complexity') as the frequency and strength of interactions among members of an organization - currently.
I would include in the definition of the concept additionally rules and constraints that enable or hinder organizational interactions, processes and structural relationships between organizational 'members' or 'subsystems'."
Here the link to the discussion - be aware you need to join Linkedin and the group:

Behavioral reasons for organizational complexity?

 On quora I have asked a question about the causes of orga complexity:

"Do you think the evolutionary basis of human behavior can be invoked to explain the 'complexification' of organizational structures and processes?"
Here is a short into to the answer by Mario Alemi
"Yes and no. Yes it has an evolutionary basis, no is not mainly about our behavior. It's that an organization will evolve naturally towards more complex states.
First, we have to think of "evolutionary basis" not as a doctrine, but as an obvious statement –if one organization fits better to the environment, it will survive over a less fit one. "
Particularly interesting is the following afterthought on evolutionary behavior by Mario:
"As a day-after-thought... the idea that "no is not mainly about our behavior" is maybe too strong. You can actually see our behavior as the best to create efficient organizations. From an evolutionary psychology POV we evolved so that we tend to create subnetworks in an organization. In an organization, there is probably a struggle between the common good (divide the macro-tasks in sub-tasks and have people do what it is needed to be done) and people, who feel they should do what they think can do best. But that's a HR problem..."
Here is a link to the quora post - you need to be signed up. If you need a quora invite, you can contact me!