In small organizations, the tendency is toward too little methodology – often very little or none. In large organizations, the tendency is toward too much methodology – a very formal, highly detailed process with very little flexibility. In medium-sized organizations, it is generally somewhere in between. Striking the proper balance is a difficult, but critical task that will determine the success an organization finds in effectively developing new products or programs.
What are some characteristics of too little methodology?
Too little methodology often leads to bedlam, anarchy, and a free-for-all atmosphere. There is no uniformity of direction; everyone is moving fast, but often in different directions (Brownian motion) (see Poor Company Vision Clouds Everyone’s View). People all feel they know what’s really best, and do their own thing independently of others. There is a 'cowboy mentality'. No one effectively leads (or everyone tries to lead), and few want to follow. Milestones are not effectively set, and schedules are for losers (see Poor Product Vision Blinds Development, and A Poor Product Roadmap Gets Everyone Lost). This can actually seem exciting and even intoxicating initially, but after a short time, people begin to get frustrated because the goals are not clear and little meaningful work is really being accomplished.