The reason that this article jibed with me is because I am currently on a related strategic engagement. Just last week, I presented a three year capability roadmap that had the instantiation of each capability in a serial sequence (i.e., not a single capability development segment overlapped in terms of time). A stakeholder proposed the idea of instantiating multiple capabilities simultaneously and iterating in a seemingly round-robin fashion. At face-value, the proposed idea sounded superb: it was agile, nimble, and appeared to add (some) value on all fronts. I maintain that the suggestion would not yield the desired result. Firstly, the proposition violated one of my core tenets, which is to “focus on a few differentiating things and do them well,” which somewhat foots to the Coherence Premium publication. Secondly, the switching costs (e.g., human hours) associated with having a few resources execute against multiple instantiation work streams in parallel may be overwhelming. Thirdly, if budgets evaporate, which does happen on occasion, what is developed will be a handful of half-baked capabilities. Lastly, the cost associated with coordination between multiple work streams may end up neutralizing any expected speed to market or agility. In the lack of a counter argument, it is difficult for me to lean any way other than to refute the suggestion.
This upcoming week, we are going to revisit the topic. I may just forward the publication to a few of the stakeholders for grins. J