One of the biggest myths is that the use of global processes and tools are generating synergy effects. What may work in production, where processes are continuously repeating, is pure insanity in product development. I’ve never seen a company that ever benefited from such a process. Instead, the opposite is the case. Global processes and tools are slowing down development, limiting the innovation capability and lowering the efficiency of development teams. But what are the reasons for that?
A global product development process is nothing more than a swiss army knife. It must cover all kinds of product development activities from small to really big. I was lucky enough to work in such a company, where the global product development process was used to develop everything from a simple mechanical product (e.g. a knife) to complete IT systems. Guess how complex such a process has to be. And don’t get me talking about “tailoring”…
The result is a process, where everybody in the company must be trained (in long and boring PowerPoint battles) and in the end, still nobody gets it. It leads to a process which creates (meaningless) tasks that deliver not a single additional value for the company, which is nothing more than waste.
You can observe a similar problem for global tools. First, all departments are asked for their requirements und based on that software is bought that fulfills all these demands. In short: they will buy a monster. For one team the software is way too complex, and the other team is moaning, that important stuff is still missing. In the end, everybody hates the tool, but still must use it. The waste generated by that is tremendous.
The solution is actual quite simple: Let the team decide how they want to work. They know best, how to finish tasks in the most efficient way. The same applies to the tools the team needs to work on those tasks. Only if a team is allowed, to take these decisions independently, a passionate team arises.