Periodic process renewal

Christian Crumlish  

January 24, 2006

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In his Noise Between Stations blog Victor Lombardi compares three models of organizational evolution and change–deteriorating, chaos, and periodic renewal–and finds the last the most healthy, writing:

Periodic renewal requires the organizational discipline to stick with what works as well as the resolve to occasionally improve it, a careful balance.

Just today Dan and I were talking about how ideally you’d release a new website quickly and then just rapidly iterate the needed fixes and user-experience changes based on observing how the site was used, what wasn’t working, and what requirements had shifted over time.

We were both rejoicing in and lamenting the fact that on the Web your work is never finished. This is the blessing and the curse of the Web, a medium that is more organic in this sense because it evolves over time and refuses to cooperate with the static concepts of “product releases” and shipments and publication dates and other illusions of frozen, trapped, or boxed time.

It is the rare organization, though, that can periodically renew itself and its processes. In my book, The Power of Many, I called this rarity a “learning system.” A learning system studies itself and changes itself based on what is working and what isn’t.