Stop building a Shitload of products, you are killing your company


idreamoforganizations0awherepeopleareempowered0atodeliverproductsthat0amatterjoyfulorganisations0a28-defaultI took my first steps in technology over 20 years ago. If we exclude the year off I took in 2006 I have always been employed in many different companies and I can say with certainty that I worked on a “shitload of products” and I use that specific term with purpose, read on to find out.

During all these years, being somebody that loves learning, I ended up working as system analyst, developer, tester, business analyst, manager, leader, coach, change agent, plus some other short term hats.

If I exclude the last 6-7 years where I had the skills and the ability to influence decisions I can go back and say for sure that the products that were initially envisioned, before any customer feedback was used, can be called a shitload of useless stuff and one or two good ideas that resolve real customer problems.

Very often the product envisioned was very similar to the product that we delivered.

Am I saying that in my first 13 years I worked I mainly produced waste?

Pretty much YES.

Another thing I remember in those early years was that I was never in a team where we could say, oh thank god we are busy but it’s not too bad, we can do our work, go home and have a balanced life. Invariantly there was pressure. We need all this by that date, come on! Work faster!

To me, it always felt like we were told by Dilbert’s boss that if we shove some more paper in the printer it will print faster. Also, when we were not busy, then managers will fill our capacity with a new shitload of useless products created for the purpose to make people sweat, very often no thought on the customer whatsoever.

Am I saying that trying to deliver fixed scope, fixed date shitloads of products creates big problems to the workers that build them?

YES, not even the pretty much is needed this time.

Another thing that I have noticed through the years is that without exception, companies older than 3 years have already built a shitload of products that are now impeding their ability to respond to change and survive. We will call this “shitload of legacy systems”.

This specific shitload is used as the excuse for not being able to change, as if saying “yes sure, we can’t compete with the market and we will die soon, but it’s not our fault it’s the fault of the legacy system (that by the way we built)

Am I saying that the shitload of products are also causing the slow death of the companies that created it in the first place?

Yes

Next time you start a product, think twice before rewarding people for the delivery of all the scope, in time.

I have been helping organisations deliver products that matter to their customer as soon as possible, I am not in the business of delivering projects or shitloads of products.

I am researching new ways of demonstrating THE VALUE in MONEYof the “non built shitload of products and features”, if you are interested, let’s do this together.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Stop building a Shitload of products, you are killing your company

  1. Agree with your points Gus and I’m interested in the subject. I’d love to have a discussion on the subject as I’ve had similar experiences.

  2. Thanks, Gus. I’ve certainly seen this– stretching resources to thin over a vast quantity of products and then wondering why nothing is getting done or just taking too long (and the quality seems to suck when it does come out). Personally, I haven’t seen management have people work on things just to have them work on them (but that’s just me). I’ve seen management “overload the printer” because they think a product will make them money or has the potential to (right or wrong), or will make the customer happy (whether it makes money or not), or its something the customer wants and management doesn’t want them to have to wait on it any longer. Regardless, that printer gets overloaded. In addition to what you’ve pointed out, I’ve begun to think that an underlying issue is the inability for management to simply say to their superiors (or the customer) “No. Not right now. The printer is full and currently producing at what it is able to produce at. You will have to wait.”

  3. 7 of us went to a restaurant in a was very very busy city.
    Told we had to wait. (Not unexpected as everywhere had queues and we hadn’t booked)
    Surprised to see empty tables and no-one being seated.
    Got seated and served.
    Meal good, on time and given attentive service.
    6 of us said we’d never have chosen this type of food, but were so impressed we’d come back.
    Restaurant still had empty tables and a queue.
    Lessons learn
    When busy, limit throughput to known capacity.
    When known capacity is achieved the quality does not suffer.
    Good quality can turn the sceptic.
    Observe and learn from others.

  4. “do something that has real value and maybe you can earn some money”
    so I am in for a good discussion about what is value for the one who will be using the things you made or are making!
    Isn’t it interesting to start a poll or do a deep research with our colleagues to see if they see value, in what they have been doing and still do?
    And approaches such as agile/scrum do they really make the change towards producing more value?

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