How senile large offices

    A small observation on the topic of how companies grow, develop, mature, senility and die. With questions (how to delay senility?) And tips (young managers).


    A good idea, start-up capital, a close-knit team - that’s the start-up. That of the 5%, which we will call "successful." The product / service is really needed by the market. The team is motivated by success, recognition, and money. Very few internal processes and hierarchies. Everyone knows and helps each other. Everyone finds something to his taste: someone is an engineer, someone is more devoted to planning, someone is more likely to communicate with customers, but everyone feels like a big family of equal peers.

    Office size - up to hundreds of people

    Growing up

    The product diverges around the world. Customers praise, but at the same time send lists of desired functionality. The company begins to hire people, but so far they are well joining the team. New internal processes are formed that are not related to the release of the product, for example, HRM. The workflow begins to develop, processes are being developed, because it is no longer possible to simply bring everyone together in one room and “synchronize”.

    The size of the office is several hundred

    Beginning of decrepitude

    The office is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to a really successful product. The office is inspired by past successes and does not notice that the stream of new people has become huge. Talented engineers, who were from the very beginning, suddenly see that some new people appear in the hierarchy above them, who do not quite understand in detail what is important and what is not. But this is not very scary yet and does not excite them, because so far the old techies have more weight than the new lower-level managers. This is achieved by the fact that other "old people" who from the very beginning were interested in management are now somewhere above, and remember their colleagues and even see them.

    The size of the office is a thousand or two

    Decrepit in full swing

    The office turned into a monster. The corporation. Many sectors, lines, layers. Products are still being sold and money up to a fig, but a huge amount of them is wasted inside. There are many people who have no idea what, in fact, is a product. But they are busy with another matter: they optimize, or rather constantly introduce new processes, shuffle people from place to place, come up with mission and strategy, etc.

    And even in the departments that deal directly with the product - trouble. Old techies are demotivated by the fact that in this new monster there is already a very high ladder of hierarchy, and they are, as it were, at the very bottom. Their old management colleagues are already very high or even gone. Many old techies are starting to leave.

    The new team / project / group / product leads poorly understand the details and history of the product and insure themselves, rolling out huge performance ratings for any (even the smallest) changes. This causes even greater hiring of new people and outsourcing (which doesn’t care at all, because they pay for the hours, not the result).

    Politics comes to the fore, quality of work comes second. Building a career in such an office is described here .

    Office size - more than 10K people

    The end of the office

    The flow of money from the product is running out due to a changed world or new competitors. Change of management does not help. The office is crushed into pieces, they are sold.
    The end


    What to read about this? Is there a “decrepitude vaccination”? Or do you just need to accept the inevitable - the office, as the body grows and dies?

    Tips for young managers

    Take care of productive old introverts. Do not look down upon a person who has not grown. It can be just a person who wants to and with pleasure engineer. Seek out ways to support motivation .

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