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Three Common (and Contagious!) Organizational Diseases

1. Silosis Multiplicatum: A widespread syndrome of operating in silos, where departments or teams do not communicate or cooperate, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities and the need of project management — symptomatic pain management. That’s why this disease is also known as Projectitis Acutus. In the Org Topologies™ mapping, this illness is most seen in the low-level ecosystems: the Y0-A1 area, where the prevailing management paradigm is resource utilization - matching work to people's skills. This is a very much pre-agile way of thinking/working.

2. Scrum Shrinkingitis: A baffling condition where the contraction of Scrum to the team level mysteriously multiplies management layers, leading to an inflamed organizational structure and severe agility impairment. This is very common to organizations that use SAFe-inspired adoptions, where Scrum is downplayed and seen as a low-level mechanical process at the lowest organizational level. As a result of this severe disease Bureaucracy Mass Index that measures Corporate Obesity grows and overtime, if not cured, such organizations become less and less capable of performing their essential functions. In the Org Topologies™ mapping, this is common in the Y2-A2 area of the map, where the so-called agile teams are structurally incomplete and hence ought to be managed from outside to get shovel-ready, preprocessed work.

3. Autonomitis Blockadus: A perplexing disorder where pursuing team independence paradoxically leads to a maze of inter-team blockages, collaboration deficiency, and team cold wars. Such widespread sickness results in a lack of systemic view with too much focus on local efficiency in chasing the fast flow at individual team/repository/feature level. This disease is often not noticed by patients because the parts of the organism (organization), studied in isolation, appear perfectly healthy. These local optima come at the cost of global efficiency and synergy. As a result, despite all the efforts to create fast and independent teams, the whole organization displays characteristics of a slow and bureaucratic one. With the Org Topologies™ mapping, such organizations reside in the Y3-A3 area.

Know more diseases, syndromes and cures? Discuss in a LinkedIn post.


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