Posts Tagged ‘overhead’

Performance Improvement

ASSume that within the vast lands of a self-described great kingdom, you’re the prince of the little fiefdom below. To keep you comfortably propped up on your throne, the DICforce in each of the 3 little green boxes, under the watchful eye of your enforcer (the faceless BM dude with the white name tag), performs 3 day-to-day functions critical to your, I mean your group’s, “success“. For simplicity, let’s call these functions F1, F2, and F3.

So, everything’s humming along until – BAM! – revenues start declining and costs start rising. D’oh! and WTF? After spending some time down in the puke green boxes and thoroughly observing/investigating/analyzing/evaluating the state of your state, you declare that the performance of the “F2” function is gumming up your well-oiled machine. In your wisdom, you address your minions and boldly¬† proclaim: “F2 Sux!“.

Uh, what change do you decide to make to “improve performance“? One option is to bring in some external “F2 gurus” to train your underperforming F2 DICsters. Another option is to fire your current F2 DICs and permanently hire new, expert, F2 DICs.

After mulling these options over, it hits you like an insight from Gawd…. you’ll hire one expert F2 enforcer dude, give him/her an ego-stroking overhead staff, and move your existing F2 DICsters into his/her newly born sub-fiefdom. So, you implement your brilliant idea and end up with this new borg:

So, besides further fragmenting your borg, increasing your overhead cost structure, pissing off your existing loyal enforcer, and having the same DICsters still supposedly screwing up the F2 function, what else can you pat yourself on the back for?

Relatively Lean

October 1, 2010 2 comments

As this not-too-out-of-date blog post details, “My Company“, I work for Sensis Inc. According to this unscientific, but interesting chart from (computed from it’s membership data) we’re leaner than our fatty competitors. Our R&D to G&A ratio seems to be quite higher than most other “similar” companies. Encouraging, no?

Categories: business Tags: , ,


February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

In the “good ole’ days”, products, along with the development and production processes to create them, were much simpler. Modern day knowledge-intensive products require both deep and broad know-what and know-how to be successful in the marketplace. Accordingly, in the “good ole’ days” many front line and second tier managers were skilled enough to man the production lines when workers went on strike. In knowledge-intensive industries like software development, that’s no longer true – even if the manager was an engineer just prior to promotion. It’s especially true in today’s fast moving environment where skills become obsolete as soon as they’re mastered. D’oh!

Another way of expressing the idea above is in the corpo lingo of “appliability”. For the most part, managers don’t have the skills to be appliable anymore. They’re a pure overhead expense to the orgs they work for. Thus, unless they’re PHORs, they’re a drain on profits. The next time a non-PHOR manager tells you that “you’re expensive to employ” retort back “at least I’m appliable” – if you dare.

%d bloggers like this: