Angles

The next pattern I’d like to talk about goes from Architectural Lens. It’s name Angles and described as:

Can you slant or angle things so some actions are easier than others?

Example:

Some cigarette bins are sold to authorities using the sloping top as a feature, discouraging people leaving litter on top.

This pattern has great use in management. Policies, roles, organizational chart, titles, departments and so on makes the corporate environment rectangular. Everything has a definition and purpose. Unfortunately, it decreases the flexibility.

There are cases when rules set in the rectangular world don’t let you to achieve your goal and do a specific action. Think about changing the angle. It might help.

Let me give an example. You have a new project. You clearly understand that you are the right person to start it. However, if you become a project manager during the kick off your chances to step back are low. Customer will not accept this move. You have a dilemma: whether to let the project start slowly without you, or you do fast kick off and have to take part in it for a long time due to rectangular rules.

The solution is to call yourself an engagement manager and do your job. Don’t care if this title doesn’t exist in your company.

It is nice practice to change your title, organization chart position, role in the project or department name to ‘hack’ the system. This is exactly changing the angle solution. You are forming the layout that makes some actions difficult to make. E.g. if renaming project manager to engagement manager you make it difficult for the customer to keep you on the project for a long time.

Every time you face obstacles due to rectangular policies, job definitions or reporting dependencies think about changing the angle that creates new surface and makes your life easier.

Disclaimer: you should know that most of the people don’t like non 90 degrees things šŸ˜‰

Inspired by: http://www.danlockton.com/dwi/Angles

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