Roy wrote a great post about an anonymous company that apparently has serious communication, leadership and accountability problems.
Generally speaking, there are various “pain points” that currently prohibit the departments from either getting the full data they need, influence the current releases so they contain the correct feature set or be more productive in their work.
In a strange turn of events, yesterday I met someone on the way home who seem to have similar problem in her line of work. The discussion centered primarily around the cost and apparent ineffectiveness of manual regression testing being performed "over there" in the outsourced QA departments. I found it somewhat distressing overall. Dollars and units of time were being weighed against an apparent need for more leadership, better internal processes, and improved flow of communication. There may also be room for architectural improvement since it sounded like routine changes to products, unit price, and supply chain were requiring excessive regression testing and had a high defect rate. I have too little technical information to guess what's going on there.
I'm all for work smarter not harder but I don't quite understand how work cheaper and faster is supposed to play out. Fortunately the person I encountered was interested in improving internal processes to get there. However I received a somewhat neutral response when I suggested leadership might also be required. Moreover it's pretty clear that the outsourced workers are not really considered full members of the organization. Not good but not too surprising.
All in all, I enjoyed listening to a 10,000ft summary of one person's internal perspective on the organizational difficulties of a large multi-national company. I found that my outlook was somewhat more nuanced and biased towards the people involved whereas hers was rather categorical and biased towards the business demands. That in itself was interesting.
My intention is not to judge, but these observations bear more thought. I'm not accustomed to thinking on such scales.