Bureaucracy can make a Transformation fail

To follow important projects, the Enterprise often puts heavy procedures into place. 

Project managers spend an increasing amount of the energy filling out forms, reports, status or progress reports and attending a lot of meetings instead of actual "doing".

From the project outset, put rules into place to avoid bureaucracy taking up too much energy: fewer meetings, fewer people present in the meetings but who are well prepared... 

The baker muzzles bureaucracy and the project moves forward.

  1. How do Transformers spend their time?

    Excessive meetings and reporting kill the Transformation.
    Some project managers start the week with a full diary of meetings:

    • Meeting with his/her team to provide a status on the progress of the project
    • Meeting with his/her boss
    • Meetings with his/her internal customers
    • Meetings with his/her partners
    • Meetings with future users of the Model
    • Meetings with suppliers

    They no longer have any time left to build the Model or to check that it is well built.
    Some spend a lot of time reporting on what they have done or will do rather than actually doing.

    These constraints start out from a good intention: if we are properly informed, we can react in time. But this lack of confidence is often linked to past failures: we wanted to learn a lesson from an unsuccessful project, by adding layers of control.

    In reality, if the Model is well built, the project is generally a success: managers should spend more time on their new Model than on managing resources and the schedule, which presupposes that we show good pedagogic judgment to make the Model accessible, through prototypes, clear explanations, examples...

  2. Recommendations to limit bureaucracy

    • Meetings
      • There are information meetings and work meetings where we deal with problems
        • Limit the number of information meetings: use communication channels (Intranet, for example)
        • Ban work meetings of more than 5 people (a real-life example, extremely effective)
      • A meeting should not be used to describe what is working normally (reporting is available for those that are interested) but to manage the exceptions.
      • Imperative: set a fixed time to end the meeting.
      • All topics are prepared.
      • The minutes are concise: not the reporting of exchanges, but actions: who is doing what for when.
    • Reporting
      • Automate the production of a simple reporting: think carefully about a small number of key indicators
      • Automate the consulting of the reporting
    • Quality of the transformers: if the Transformers are of a high quality, there are not so many of them and they have less need to communicate. Bureaucracy particularly concerns organizations where the transformers are of an average level.

Licence Creative Commons
The story of George the Baker is made available under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution - NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.
Table of Contents


comments powered by Disqus