I saw a great post by Ron Ashkenas on how controls create complexity. We’ve been struggling with this issue in our transformation program. We have put stronger controls and more frequent communications in place. However, these controls and communications shouldn’t create double or triple work.
Askkenas captures what drives these issues in his opening paragraph:
Have you ever noticed that organizations are great at creating controls and policies to prevent incidents that have already happened? Once the proverbial cow escapes the barn, they adeptly make sure it won’t happen again by, say, authorizing only certain people to man the exit and constructing barn-door status reports.
Sometimes this needs to happen and usually it is straightforward to figure out what a “new normal” approach should look like. But the rest of the program or business can get left behind and needs to be brought along to the new reports. There is nothing more frustrating than reconciling “old program” status reports to the “new project” control paradigm.