Orchestrate Architectural Excellence

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Or the art of systemically getting ‘it’ done.


 

Let’s not beat around the bush, for most of us, the day-to-day corporate operational grind we face is a miasma of ad hoc anarchy and structured screw-ups. To which the ‘it’ referred to in the sub-header is best prefixed by ‘sh’ in the grand scheme of things. It happens mostly because we allow it to. But let’s say the last minute operational requests and the preposterous roundabout game of ‘who-has-to-deal-with-it-now’ get reigned in to an acceptable level of control and more importantly accountability.  If that sounds like a dream, then it’s because it is; just ask Christopher Nolan.

*Insert painfully-forced Inception reference*

Just as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb and team managed the impossible by planting another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious – the near-impossible task of creating an architecturally-sound system of daily-grind-elimination – is achievable by following their execution footsteps. Just as penetrating a dream sequence requires meticulous planning, so does creating a virtual team-construct within an organisation. All it takes is five steps, that’s it – five very painful steps, so pain-levels have been indicated for reference (you’re welcome).

Step 1: The Team

Pain level: 5/5, but with some experience in putting together high-performing teams, the pain doesn’t decrease, your tolerance for it heightens.

Some may argue otherwise, but seriously, you ARE NOTHING WITHOUT YOUR TEAM. You need specialists, and you’ll always need them in some way, shape or form. You can’t realistically replicate Cobb’s ‘dream’ team unless you actually want to implant an idea into someone’s head. If unsure, refer to The Only Team You’ll Ever Really Need

 

Step 2: Map out your processes

Pain level: 3.5/5 or 4/5, depending on how aware you are of your current system

Processes, the bane of any form of creative product or body of work – or is it? To get anything done consistently, it unfortunately requires the formulation of a chronological or set-pieced sequence of barriers to execution. As retarded as it potentially sounds, even creative work requires a process – for example, writers go through a systematic process of self-loathing and denial before any thought-provoking work is ultimately done. So look into what you do and how it eventually gets done – identify that process, and then add unrelenting pragmatism to it. Map it out, literally on a piece of paper, and further streamline the hell out of it – for example:

Writing a full-length feature story, the process:

  • Ignore deadline
  • Talk about it to colleagues
  • Ignore deadline
  • Hate yourself for agreeing to do it
  • Deadline denial still
  • Stare at blank screen
  • Start typing
  • Doubt yourself, and curse at random inanimate object
  • Suddenly inspired
  • Story done

Writing a full- feature story process (streamlined with pragmatism):

  • Hate yourself for agreeing to do it
  • Start typing
  • Doubt yourself, and curse at random inanimate object
  • Suddenly inspired
  • Story done

 

Step 3: Find the formula – then create templates

Pain level: 2.5/5, easier than it sounds

Even the most prolifically random occurrence in a corporate setting will adhere to a pattern if charted against a set length of time. Look into your day to day and factor in every recorded project, job, request, outcome and exceptionally busy periods – over two business quarters and look for a pattern. Once you find it, and you will – plot it against your mapped-out processes list. Now start creating templates, for example:

WorkProcess

Step 4: System manifest!

Pain level: 5.5/5, this is where you need to get the buy-in of everyone else

Here’s where it gets tricky. You now need to tell every single person who you work with, in the organisation, that you now have templates for everything. Organised requestors will love you for it. Ad hoc, last minute perpetrators will moan and groan. Ignore the annoying latter.

 

Step 5: System of Systems: An Architecturally Sound Construct of Efficient Delivery  

Pain level: 2/5, the least painful of the lot – mostly because, by this time, you should be able to step back far enough to see the bigger picture.

Now that you have a systemic way of delivering any known type of request with some manner of managed process, push the envelope further and again, put down on paper or chart or some snazzy infographic, a representation of the deliverables and outcome timelines. What you will find is that now, you are able, with the help of this construct, to have some sense of predictive ability – especially with certain requests or projects that adhere to certain periods or seasons. And because you know exactly how long it takes to deal with ad hoc submissions, mainly because you’ve share the timelines with everyone, expectations are auto-managed, and you’ve freed yourself from the chains of day to day drudgery and banality – leaving you the time to plot for eventual organisational dominance. And everyone dreams of that.

 

*The idea of templated project delivery has now been planted in your mind*

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