Just wanted to do a bit of self-promotion and let you know, I’ve been chosen as one of the keynote speakers at the Software Marketing Perspectives conference, next month in Santa Clara.
My topic — on Friday May 9th — is called:
Information Supply Chain: Aligning Diverse Teams to Minimize Time-to-Revenue for High-Tech Products
I actually spoke on this topic last year at the SMP conference in Boston, but had a terrible time slot. Last session on the last day. On the bright side, I know that the people who came to my talk really wanted to be at the talk!
I guess they liked the topic and asked that I present it again as a keynote. I’ve blogged about this topic a bit in this series of articles, but the topic really deserves a lot more focus and detail and in fact, over the past year, as I’ve thought more about it, I’ve realized that this is something that could help solve a big problem I’ve observed in growing companies.
When companies are small — from startup to about 50 people — information flows very well. People can stay synchronized with each other simply because they work closely together and there are tight working relationships between groups. Also teams are very small, so the personal relationships of individuals help strengthen the communication flow all around.
But, as companies grow, say from 50 to 150 people (and beyond), problems start creeping in. Everyone no longer knows everyone else. Team sizes start to grow. The personal relationships across teams get weaker. Hierarchy and bureaucracy starts setting in. Roles and duties get redefined and gaps start appearing in the information flow.
What worked with 50 people doesn’t work with 150 people. The company is growing but processes cannot be put in place to keep communication flowing properly. If you’ve worked in such a growing company, I’m sure you’ve heard someone say something like this:
How come we seemed to get so much more done in less time when we were smaller?
If an Information Supply Chain is defined for those critical cross-team junction points, a lot of the communication problems can be eliminated. Everyone doesn’t have to know everyone else to be successful, they just need to who depends on them and what information is needed when.
That structure, of mapping and addressing dependencies can scale, regardless of who is on each team or even where they are located. I’ll leave it there for now, and I’ll report back once I return from the conference.
Hope to see some of you there.