Why are we making it so complex – and how can we simplify?
Many of the changes introduced in large organizations only seem to add to the internal complexity. One example is process improvement efforts, which sometimes lead to the creation of a new organisational dimension consisting of “process owners”. The unforeseen consequence is to create a kind of matrix where responsibility is divided between line managers and process owners. But it doesn’t stop there: I was told of one large organization that – in addition to the two dimensions of functions and processes – introduced a third dimension of “process coordinators”, who were supposed to facilitate co-ordination between functional managers and process owners. This company ended up with a three dimensional matrix!
Based on 12 years of experience working with large organisations in Scandinavia, I have concluded that handling the increasing level of internal complexity is a key challenge for most managers.
This is the main motivation for writing the book I am working on. The main purpose is to show how to re-design organisational structures and minimize unnecessary complexity. The basic line of reasoning is presented in the PowerPoint presentation included here. I would welcome comments and reactions from readers of this blog.