May 4, 2016

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Scaling Kochō for the Enterprise



Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll no doubt have heard about Kochō. It's the new management technique that's been setting the tech world on fire.

Many books, blogs and Hip Hop ballets have been written about the details of Kochō, so it's suffice for me to just quickly summarise it here for anyone who needs their memory refreshing.

Kochō is an advanced technique for scheduling and tracking work that utilises hedgehogs and a complex network of PVC tubes. Task cards are attached to the hedgehogs - by the obvious means - and then they're released into the network to search for cheese or whatever it is that hedgehogs eat. The tubes have random holes cut out above people's desks. When a hedgehog falls through one of these holes, the person at that desk removes the task card and begins work. Progress is measured by asking the hedgehogs.

So far, we've mainly seen Kochō used successfully on small teams. But the big question now is does it scale?

There are many practical barriers to scaling Kochō to the whole enterprise, including:

* Availability of hedgehogs
* Structural weakness of large PVC tube networks
* Infiltration of Kochō networks by badgers
* Shortage of Certified Kochō Tubemasters

In this blog post, I will outline how you can overcome these hurdles and scale Kochō to any size of organisation.

Availability of hedgehogs


As Kochō has become more and more popular, teams have been hit by chronic hedgehog shortages. This is why smart organisations are now setting up their own hedgehog farms. Thankfully, it doesn't take long to produce a fully-grown, Kochō-ready hedgehog. In fact, it can be done in just one hour. We know it's true, because the organiser of the Year Of Hedgehogs said so on TV.

Structural weaknesses of large PVC tube networks


Steel-reinforce them.

Infiltration of Kochō networks by badgers


Regrettably, some managers have trouble telling a badger from a hedgehog. Well, one mammal is pretty much the same as another, right? Weeding out the badgers on small Kochō teams is straightforward. But as team sizes grow, it becomes harder and harder to pay enough attention to each individual "hedgehog" to easily spot imposters.

Worry not, though. If you make the holes bigger, badgers can work just as well.

Carry on. As you were.

Shortage of Certified Kochō Tubemasters



Many teams employ CKTs to keep an eye on things and ensure the badgers - sorry, "hedgehogs" - are following the process correctly. But, if hedgehogs are in short supply these days, CKTs are like proverbial hen's teeth.

Only a few teams dare try Kochō without a CKT. And they have learned that you don't actually need one... not really.

In fact, Kochō can work perfectly well without CKTs, tube networks, hedgehogs, or Kochō. Indeed, we're discovering that not doing Kochō scales best of all.






Posted 1 year, 8 months ago on May 4, 2016