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Add Managers And Hope

The figure below shows the result of two attempts to increase the productivity of a hypothetical DICteam. In this totally concocted and fictional example, the nervous dudes in the penthouse (not shown in the figure) keep adding specialized managers to the team to fill voids that they perceive are keeping performance from improving. However, since the SCOLs never baseline the TEAM_VALUE_ADDED metric before each brilliant move, or track its increase or decrease with time, they have no idea whether they have achieved their goal. Because SCOLsters think they’re infallible, they just auto-assume that their brilliant moves work out as expected.

Of course, it often turns out that SCOLster decisions and actions do more harm than good. As the graph in the figure for this bogus example shows, not only did the team operating cost increase by the addition of two new manager salaries to the total, the team productivity decreased because of the additional communication and coordination delays inserted into the system. Add an additional “hidden” operating cost due to the high likelihood of jockeying and infighting between the three BMs (to gain favor from the penthouse dudes), and the system performance deteriorates further. Bummer.

So how can SCOLs increase team performance without throwing more useless overhead BM bodies at the problem? For starters, they can clearly communicate the gaps they “see” to the single team coordinator and help him/her rise to the challenge by providing mentorship and advice. They also can replace the BM with a competent, non-BM (fat chance). They can also (heaven forbid) invest in better tools, infrastructure, and training for the one coordinator and team of DICmates – instead of investing that money in more BM specialists. Got any more performance increasing alternatives to the standard “add managers and hope” tactic?

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