Corporate Puberty:Understanding Your Troubled Teen
Corporate Puberty is when companies start to mature and integrate their systems and processes. This can be a scary time for a lot of companies. They know they need to change but the scope can be daunting. Employees accustomed to manual processes worry that automation will eliminate their jobs and may be resistant. High hiring rates and employee on-boarding might actually slow productivity down for a time.
Like with humans, Corporate Puberty doesn’t happen overnight. Some companies actually think they have settled in to adulthood, only to discover another growing pain… and then another. Also like teens, effective parents or leaders can ease the transition. Unlike parents, however, organizational leaders have some discretion over when and how change happens, (although sometimes parents and leaders would both rather ignore the problem and hope it goes away).
How can we best manage Corporate Puberty?
Some companies will adopt best practices or methodologies. They train all of their employees on the methodology, then teams can work out how the methodology applies to them and how they will implement it. This approach can foster collaboration because everyone is going through the growing pains together. It also aids in buy-in because teams have a lot of input on how things should proceed. However, this approach can be very costly, as it requires significant investment to devote personnel to a major transition.
The other option is to work through the company to identify changes, then roll things out slowly to one department or project at a time. This can be a lot less stressful if the organization is resistant to change. Employees don’t have to absorb all of the new policies and tools all at once. Change managers can focus on one process or system at a time to facilitate the transition. The down side is that the process can drag on – often for years – and there is little sense of what “done” means.
Either way, you will need a good business analyst (BA) to understand how everything actually works together. Depending on the approach, they may map existing processes and determine where changes can be most effective. Or, in the absence of any structure, they may simply define the desired state. The key is having someone who understands the interfaces between projects and departments. This is where constraints are most likely, assumptions are most costly, and risks are greatest. People within the departments can’t always look objectively at how they interact with other groups and an impartial BA can ease tension. A BA who understands all of the processes can identify overlaps and opportunities when different departments work on similar problems.
Can LovePS help my troubled teen?
Of course we can! Stacey Love has mentored “teens” with up to 2500 employees at various stages of maturity. We understand that culture, size, and economic climate can affect the kind of adult your company wants to be. Our knowledge of best practices, such as ISO 9000 and the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge help us to identify where changes can be most effective. Get in touch to find out how we can help you!
Why act now?
Has your company tried to put off Corporate Puberty for too long? How is this hurting your organization in the long run?