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Infinitely Late

In deference to Fred Brooks‘s “adding more people to a late project makes it later“, I present you with the enhanced version: “adding more people to a late project makes it later, and at some critical size K, adding more people makes it infinitely late“.

As more smart and competent people are added to an org or project, the capability of the group to accomplish great things increases. The really sad thing about poor management is that this increased capability is countered by increased fragmentation and growth in fatty middle corpo layers that slowly snuff out productivity. The lag time between the addition of people and degraded org productivity can be can be so great that the correlation is totally missed and the probability of recovery goes to zero.

At a really dysfunctional institution, productivity plummets to zero and the immobilized institution withers away – unless some sugar daddy starts subsidizing the beast without regard to performance.

In the cases where the hapless institution is a government, it can become is its own sugar daddy. Since it has the bullying power to subsidize itself via taxation of its constituency, it can maintain its comatose state for essentially infinity. DYSCOs are not so lucky. They can, and often do, run out of money before they even know what hit them.

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