When you need to bend your processes and pull together
Yesterday I went to a pub with friends. One friend arrived late after the rest of us had already eaten. She ordered something to eat anyway and about 40 minutes later she asked for it again only to find out that the waiter forgot her order. So he was send to the kitchen and within just under 10 minutes her food arrived.
I instantly had to think of the company I work for.
Imagine what happened behind the scenes. The waiter is responsible for forgetting the order and now rushes into the kitchen not only to place the order but to make it highest on the priority list. The chef at that point can not be amused as he now has to do the forgotten meal while still doing all the other orders as well. He can not make this one customer wait any longer just as he can’t delay the others. He can not prepare only half of the meals, nor can he save on the quality.
He can not scale on scope, quality or time. Instead he has to work twice as hard. Take that scrum process by the book!
It could’ve gone totally wrong though.
Imagine the chef arguing that it wasn’t his fault to not place the order and that he would either put it in the queue or do it now and delay the rest of the orders keeping his processes in tidy order. He’s not to blame after all so why should he be the one to deal with it.
In that case they would probably have lost customers.
Imagine further that maybe the customer didn’t place the order in the first place but only thought she did and the waiter was just polite enough to take the blame. It’s still not the chefs fault but still his responsibility to not loose any customer.
In any company mistakes are made and have to be dealt with. Especially when dealing with customers there is only one importance: to serve what was ordered in the quality expected and within the acceptable time. If you’re behind schedule for whatever reason you need to speed up.
I imagine the waiter later excused himself with a round of beers in the kitchen. The food was nice and my friend forgot about it soon and will come again.