PMF Narrative at Notejoy
A Modern Organization’s Communication & Collaboration Challenges
Fred Books observed back in 1975 while at IBM that the cost of communication exponentially increased with each additional engineer added to a software project, significantly reducing the marginal output of each added resource. This was due to the additional communication overhead necessary to keep each and every member of the team up-to-date on what others were doing and how their work integrated and aligned with the broader team’s goals. While he discovered this in the context of software engineering teams, the principle equally held true across almost all roles and teams and has continued to do so even in today’s modern day organizations.
Organizations combat this through various communication and collaboration strategies: company-wide all hands, broad communication via email, recurring team meetings with the express goal of reviewing status and disseminating information, company-wide OKR planning processes, significant effort spent by most individual contributors preparing presentations for various audiences, and so much more. While these techniques certainly improve team communication, they come at an extremely high cost: reduction in individual employee productivity.
Despite all of these countermeasures, most employees within organizations still complain that critical business information is not effectively communicated and shared within the organization, resulting in efficiencies, sub-optimal decision making, and overall project delays.
The oxygen to synthesis, the fundamental driver of creativity, is restricted when there isn’t free flow of new ideas throughout the organization.