Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?
We were all sitting around one afternoon talking about this story. Each of us found ourselves identifying a different aspect of the story that we thought was the cause of all the travails of the organization.
We identified the initial failure of the organization to properly align its approach to the project with its true strategic nature.
We also determined that, initially, the organization did not properly lead collaboration; in fact, it did not initially have any collaboration on this particular project.
We found that the organization chose the wrong approach for the project, tackling a very complex project filled with uncertainty with a process more suited for a low-complexity and low-uncertainty project. It also assigned a leader who did not recognize the uncertainties and the complexities.
We realized that the organization did not gather all of the information it needed to make proper decisions about how to market the product and in which markets to sell the product. We also identified several cases where the company made commitments earlier than it needed to, especially with potential customers and industry partners.
As we talked about this case more, we realized that there was no one cause for the project's initial problems, but rather several contributing factors. When we discussed the various tools we would have used to help the company, we realized that while each tool was powerful in its own right, when put together the entire toolset could really help an organization succeed.