Silo Cruncher

The Silo Cruncher is hacking the culture of a startup which has grown into a structure of silos, each optimizing on its own behalf and not contributing to the whole anymore.

The crack is that product development is nearly stalled and connection to customer needs are lost. Endless discussions are not leading to any result. High tensions and toxic atmosphere exist within management team where everyone fights for his own unit. Everyone suffers from dysfunctional behavior, especially the CEO is desperate with the situation having clear idea what he wants from the team but nothing is delivered.

The hack is while introducing Scrum to make the CEO the Product Owner (1) at least as along as it takes to level the silos. The result is that the Product Backlog becomes the most important thing everyone in the firm pulls work from. Impediments get raised to the highest level and silo structure being a prominent one can be removed, so that teams can group better around work from the Product Backlog. The hack causes a lot of stress for the middle management and can create also a lot of damage. Another con is that the CEO is driven by shareholders and does not have the capacity to fill the Product Owner role fully. While teams are freed from silo boundaries the Product Owner becomes a bottleneck. A less brutal alternative is the Leadership Hack #1: Knitting together silos in your company.

(1) Product Owner is a role within the Scrum framework

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