Friday, May 14, 2010

Reporting structure

This is how I view this.

It helps people to focus. It it also let that people can think of the bigger pictures.

Each layer handles the problems at different levels and sometime in different ways.

Some levels can just handle integration issues. not the details.

The issue between bigger groups can be handled with the synergy.

For example, we have a structure like this:

C, F, G, E can have the focus.
B and D need to help them by filtering, summarizing, and interpreting the information from outside, so the next level can have the focus.

In software development, I feel that this is one of the most important thing that improves productivity.

C and F may have different relationships.

Scenario 1: F's work may depend on C

B should coordinate, define, and monitor the process.

Scenario 2: F and C need to work together

B should help them to share the common goals.

Whether the relationship will be the scenario 1 or Scenario 2 may need to be determined by B. B, sometimes, is a process designer. Having the process view is an important attribute of a lead or a manager.

Unless the work is very labor intensive, scenario 2 seems much less used, I feel.

Other productivity grains come from breaking the tasks into smaller units and assigning the specific people with the expertise to be responsible for those individual tasks. Again, focus. Adams Smith called this "Division of Labor".

Focus with the accountability helps.

What are other roles that B or D can play?

1. Planning

While C, F, G, E are focusing, B and D need to think more than what are being handled. We cover the eye of horse so it can feel safe while working in a dangerous places. B need to help C and F feel safe.

Planning includes many aspects. Examples:
  • What are scope coming in the pipelines. (Forecasting)
  • How to break the scope down and come up the dependencies (Work Planning - WBS or PERT).
  • Knowing what will need to do first and identify what we need to do to prepare for it.
  • Resource planning: Capacity Planning (RCCP)

2. Risk management

Understand what could happen and when that happens, how can we deal with it.
Measuring the likelihood.

3. Representing the team to the outside

B represents C and F when working with D, G, and E.
  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation
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