Brian O' Hanlon.
"Suboptimal" Divisions. A $6 billion organisation we encountered some years ago had organised technical groups into "competency centers" - physics, chemistry, et cetera. These centers had become the primary organisational elements. Projects and products ranked a distant second. The practical outcome of the imbalance was that an individual's time was hopelessly fragmented. Any person might work on as many as a half-dozen projects associated with his narrow speciality. The project might, in turn, span three or four divisions, two or three groups. The organisation was a disaster. Very little was delivered on time - principally, in our view, because of a lack of commitment and a focus on the wrong things, technical disiplines rather than products, projects, and customers. When the organisation returned, after a five-year hiatus, to a project mode (with technical competency relegated to a distant second), development activities picked up noticeably - and almost overnight.
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