Coordination Chaos

Why should I care

Every organization declines to Coordination Chaos unless the leaders know what to do.

Significance

This is serious

Are you powerless in front of silos, confusion, and slowness? Is it difficult even to imagine a better way? Recognizing the signs of Modern Taylorism is both amusing and uncomfortable.

Management thinkers have given their warning. Allen Ward, Konosuke Matsushita, Clausewitz and von Moltke, Joseph Tainter, Chris Argyris and Gary Hamel explain the same pattern from different perspectives. Please check the entertaining video by Yves Morieux of BCG. A continuous stream of articles in management publications brings up the seriousness of the phenomenon.

Nokia Mobile Phones fell from 40 BN revenue and 9 BN profit to zero in five years.

Figure by Christian Sandström

Coordination Chaos was critical in the collapse of R&D productivity. It constrained the strategic decisions of the top management, and contributed to the management by fear.

Root Cause

Fragmentation and bureaucracy grow when you specialize to Role, Function, Task, or Component.

Specialization to Role, Function, Task, or a Technical Component seems to work. Unfortunately, it by definition creates a fragmented organization, queues, uncontrolled growth, heavy coordination - and Waterfall processes.

Systems Thinking shows beautifully, how everyday decisions of the management kill the learning and grow the fragmented organization.

Please see also Bas Vodde explaining the danger of asynchronous dependencies and how to avoid them.

The researcher William Ouchi explains the mechanism of bureaucracy, and how it grows inevitably in a fragmented organization.

Cure for Coordination Chaos

Regain your productivity by releasing your specialists from the burden of bureaucracy.