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This chapter is from the book


We've asserted that people, organizations, management, and leadership are all important to scalability. People are the most important element of scalability, as without people there are no processes and there is no technology. The effective organization of your people will either get you to where you need to be faster or hinder your efforts in producing scalable systems. Management and leadership are the push and pull, respectively, in the whole operation. Leadership serves to inspire people to greater accomplishments, and management exists to motivate them to the objective.

Key Points

  • People are the most important piece of the scale puzzle.
  • The right person in the right job at the right time and with the right behaviors is essential to scale organizations, processes, and systems.
  • Organizational structures are rarely "right or wrong." Any structure is likely to have pros and cons relative to your needs.
  • When designing your organization, consider
    • The ease with which you can add people to the organization
    • The ease with which you can measure organizational success and individual contributions over time
    • How easy the organization is to understand for an outsider
    • How the organizational structure impacts individual productivity
    • What "friction" will exist between teams within the organization
    • How easily work flows through the organization
  • Adding people to organizations may increase the organizational throughput, but the average production per individual tends to go down.
  • Management is about achieving goals. A lack of management is nearly certain to doom your scalability initiatives.
  • Leadership is about goal definition, vision creation, and mission articulation. An absence of leadership as it relates to scale is detrimental to your objectives.
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