Cathedral Builders

October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

So there is this great story that goes something like this:
Three stone cutters were cutting down big chunks of stone and were asked what they were doing. The first responded by saying he was cutting stone. The second one responded by saying that he was earning a living and providing for his family. The third one pondered for a bit and then said that he was building a cathedral.

So the next time you are at your organization look around and ask how many cathedral builders do you have? Ask yourself this question.

And if you find that your organization lacks cathedral builders ask why is that.

One way to fix this is to move responsibility and decision making to the lowest possible level. Don’t believe some organizational head who says that is what has been done. The test that will truly tell you if your organization has moved responsibility and decision making to the lowest level is:

  • When developers/testers/analysts etc are annoyed by what they are doing, do they fix the issue or complain about it? A
  • Also when things break or go wrong do you measure a level above or at the highest level of your organization or do you measure at the team level and play the blame game?


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