Hallucinatory commitments to the market-a case study


Corporate HQ is not happy about the expected 8 month delay of an upcoming critical product. There is fear that a window of opportunity will close in the next quarter, which may render the product irrelevant.

In a lesson learned exercise done by an outside consulting firm, the report said “ there is too little transparency between development teams, located in San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Beijing. More transparency and better team work between the teams will drastically accelerate development”.

The truth is that transparency between the development teams is not the issue; there is fierce competition between the teams on who will be blamed for the obviously hallucinatory  overly aggressive commitments which were made to the market. The fact is that the delay will be 2 years, not eight months! (The external consultant never got it).

San Francisco based team members have “placed the résumés” on the web, to bail ship. In the meantime, they claim they are “waiting and waiting” for the Israeli designers to translate business needs into product architecture. The Israelis claim that the “business needs as described by the SF team are empty platitudes”.  In Beijing, developers who are supposed to be designing building blocks for the product are fooling around  on Facebook all day, whilst providing progress reports on non existing building blocks.

The external consulting firm not see the  root cause of the dirty politics as a derivative of the  hallucinatory commitment to the marketplace. The external consultants were too ideological about the need for transparency and team work in global teams. The external consulting firm worked with a productized OD model on “how to succeed in global development”. The consultant had 3 years experience. His last project was improving supply chain issues in the frozen meat industry. The consultant has never travelled outside of the US, yet the firm for which he works is “well-branded”.

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