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Organisational Origami

I’ve got ahead of myself with my blogging.  Andy Youell’s talk was actually the first presentation of the afternoon.  The second talk this morning was from Iain Liddell of Brunel, who was very entertaining.  He opened his presentation by playing Charles Ives’ “They are there" while he set up, which certainly got our attention.   He then showed us origami models of three London landmarks: The Shard, The Gherkin, and the Albert Hall.  He used these to contrast the relative ease of building from scratch with the difficulties of transforming an existing architecture: the Albert Hall shows the old building peeking through.

Iain then told the story of how Brunel had to reorganise following various mergers.  He noted the need to manage computer identities across the institution – and not to build organisational codes into someone’s login name.  Systems need to be aligned to core data.

I really liked his comment, “don’t barnacle the workflow”, by which he meant don’t add exceptions and special cases on top of each other.  I thought the image of barnacles was very apt.

Iain finished with a quote along the lines of “Last week’s solution to last year’s problem, based on the experience of the last decade by people how were trained last century, is not good enough for next year's needs".

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