These are part of the questions that we have asked ourselves at one point of our career path and when we had different jobs. Sadly, we forgot that and we expect everyone to know the answers.
As a programmer I expected people to know what I think is common knowledge and I expected them to behave like me. To all the questions like the one mentioned above I always raised eyebrows and said – isn’t it logical? (Secretly, I was annoyed considering that as common sense.)
Later, together with few colleagues, we had to re-educate ourselves, because it was necessary to go out on the market again, where only the project was given and we were supposed to plan our work, tasks and processes. In order to maintain our products we had to teach people to follow our working habits.
It turned out that while I was looking only in my own “garden” I couldn’t understand other people’s problems. It turned out, that my colleagues aren’t stupid, but that in their “garden” there are other challenges, some of them provoked form the shadow of my plants.
But enough with the metaphor. How much do these scenarios seem familiar to you:
- Junior programmers are scared that they don’t know what process is, how to interact within the team, or why certain things need to be done.
- Senior programmers prefer to mentor the junior programmers by themselves and often overload them with too much information, leaving out important things and details that they consider as common sense and logical. And soon senior programmers get demotivated because the everyday work and tasks keep coming while they have to spend their time teaching some new kid.
- Operation supports teams are disappointed because of the details that were not communicated but that seemed logical.
- Planning resources departments have messy tasks, because someone didn’t close their task or do not understand why task closing is important at all).
- Or no one can go back to a previous version because there are no braches and tags. And even if they managed to go back to the previous version, no one knows what has to be done because of the messy documentation.
Pointing in different direction the responsible is not the solution.
How can organizational conflicts like these be solved?
Simple, the solution of problems is called „maturity of the organization.” Organizational maturity is a concept that requires a long-term strategy and perspective view of all strategic and planed business relations.
Different sources separate organizational maturity in different categories, but for convenience we emphasized the following aspects:
- People – the most valuable asset of the organizations
- Processes – the source of smooth workflow and transparency , but in my experience often taken as a law and a source of conflicts
- Technology – the instruments without which we cannot be competitive, but whose use often is overreacted or used for inadequate purposes.
- Business intelligence – analysis of internal and external data and conditions
Achieving an acceptable operational level is a subject addressed in many materials. Authors describe possible improvements in different areas regarding their field of study (HR management, IT service management, Business analysis etc). The common among all the approaches is having a right organization and appropriate education of the participants in it.
Under education it is not considered the technical background, but the overall knowledge of the processes implemented in a company, the best practices in general, the existing policies and the most important- their propose and the change mechanisms.
Knowing the latest trends in design, development, management and operation of IT products enables effective optimizations. The ignorance leads to holes in the processes that often hinder the interaction within the departments and operating units.
Share your thought on organizational maturity. Do you think it is suitable to have a training program for all people, operating in a company? Would it help to relieve pressure and to achieve accurate measurement as well as optimization of processes and interaction between them? How appropriate do you think a training from “start-to-end” can be, so that everyone can understand how to make price evaluation, design, management, implementation and exploitation?
What is your experience in achieving the necessary maturity of your organization? Have you reached so far the moment when the processes and relationships are subjects to constant measurement, analysis and improvement?