Designing to fail

Every now and then we run into situations where someone just does not wish to succeed with their task or mission. Maybe they don’t like the mission, or the people, or the technology. They appear to be following the scope/plan of the mission, but their actions run counter to the goals that have been set out for them. Their ulterior motive is to set up the thing they were missioned to do to fail.

When I see this, I often comment “systems designed to fail often do.”

We see this across the spectrum of customers and partners. Some customers refusing service and support as a line item on a quote, and then complaining loudly to their management about the lack of support from the vendor when they need the service that they refused to pay for. I used to see this in SGI all the time, where groups would have their own agenda, and rarely follow the plan for the business.

They knew better, or at least, this is what they said.

It is sad when you see this … where politics interferes with business. IMO this is an HR problem, and easily solved. Doesn’t matter if we agree with the direction, if it is our goal, our mission, we do it. If we can’t or won’t, then we need to get out of the way of the people who will fulfill the mission.

Not naive. Small businesses can’t afford this politicking. Nor can large businesses. Failure to meet mission objectives, or come close to them is not acceptable. Taking actions which impede the mission is problematic.

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