By Steve Stanton
Every organization has boundaries, and every organization has boundary problems. It’s likely you have boundary problems too.
It’s at the interface of these boundaries that costs and time pile up and clog customer responsiveness and add unnecessary costs. It’s at the boundaries that organizational misalignment is most apparent and most dysfunctional. These two stories illustrate some of the issues:
At a large specialty chemical company the boundary between Production and Sales processes created both conflict and cost. Production was measured on lowest cost, which drove long runs, while Sales was focused on delivery of product to the customer precisely when they wanted it. With no adjudication procedure, bickering went on for years.
At a major catalog retailer, Finance dictated a major reduction in production costs, just as Marketing was launching a new line of products. The resulting promotion failed, not due to the quality of the products, but because of the mismatched tactics of the two functions.
These boundary problems are serious but solvable. We know most of the solutions: clear strategies that drive integrative metrics, thoughtful process-governance, and well designed Win-Win scenarios that can resolve most border problems. But implementing them can be extraordinarily difficult.
Join us at the Hammer Forum: Connecting Across Boundaries on October 17-18 in Boston to hear success stories and best practices from organizations that have gained value from alignment at the border.