Organization maturity is just not measured in CMMi

There was this folk tale I heard a long time ago....
Once upon a time, there was a great king and a wise minister, both of whom are foodies. It is said that one fine morning, both the cooks for the king and minister go to the forest to collect some herbs and get eaten by a lion.

The king gets pretty upset and so is the minister and both of them find their life is getting miserable due to lack of the sumptuous and lip-smacking food.
So, at first, the king announces for the new royal chef position with a great pay and benefits package and invites the popular and known cooks from all over the world to apply. Strangely, none of the cooks that attend the interview were able to create the culinary savor the king used to get from the same dishes earlier. And... so ... no one gets selected as the new royal chef. The king keeps getting more and more irritable and   unbearable.

Adding insult to the injury, the king starts noticing that his wise minister has started appearing less miserable  and in fact seem to be getting happier day by day..

So, the king summons the wise minister to his private chambers .. rants for a while about how much he is missing the great food that he used to take for granted ... and then inquires with the minister .

What is happening with you these days !! Aren't you a good foodie like me and since you have also lost your cook ,  you must be feeling miserable!!! 
The wise minister replies back with a smile ...
Not at all Sire!!  In fact, I have found a cook who creates me the same taste and flavor that I love and that is the reason why I am very happy again.
The king gets mighty annoyed and started accusing the minister ..

How  ungrateful of you !! you found the best cook and kept him for yourself instead of offering me his services.. I shall punish you for this disloyalty ..

Then the minister says ...

Sire! It is not the cook!!. Whenever my  earlier cook made a dish that I liked very much, I used to take notes of the ingredients and cooking procedure.. So, when the new cook came aboard, I gave him the recipe book and asked him to follow the same. That is the reason why he was able to reproduce the magic. It is not that he is a great cook. He is good enough to follow the established procedure..

Moral of the story ... 

If you don't keep track of how great things are done by your best folks ... then, when they leave, you are left with nothing ....

What this has got to do with the organizational context .. you may ask !!

I have come to know many instances of the "so called" indispensable engineers leaving companies or going on vacation and when shit hits the fan, things came down unraveling ...

Why is it that your team or organization or work force has indispensable engineers ?!?

If any of your manager comes to you saying that - he got an irreplaceable engineer that should get hike or promotion or whatever ... If I were you, the first thing I do is to fire that damn manager!!!

Does not matter if you are a CMMi 5 level company ... if you have not created redundancy and Personnel DR strategy, then you suck!!

If you observe that your IT guy, Ops guy or Architect guy or PD guy or Sales guy is a STAR .. create a buddy pair mechanism to build a back up. Document ... document .. document everything that the 'star' performer does and create an easily accessible knowledge management system.

The rule of thumb is that -- having GREAT performers in the organization should add value to the organization. NOT .. losing them is going to create a chaos..

Happy KM' ing !!


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