From little things, big things grow

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
Bruce Barton.

Having built multi-domain OSS from the ground up I know how daunting a green-fields OSS can be. So many things to get done. So many inter-dependencies. So many facts and figures to uncover. So many interfaces to develop. So much data to collect. So many ways to deliver an outcome. Where to start?

Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) are the technique that I always use to picture what the grand plan looks like. The WBS diagram then becomes the communication tool to spread the vision and delegate the tasks. The WBS shows the big picture unfolding into component parts.

Make no mistake, an OSS big or small is built upon a great number of small, achievable tasks. Step by step, day by day, the pieces come together and something special grows.

An important part is to bring as many of the customer’s people along the path with you so that they know where their OSS is heading and intimately understand the steps that have been taken along the way.

For an OSS to be successful, the CSP must treat it as a journey rather than a destination. They have to go through the build not just take possession at the end if they are to then use their new investment effectively.

And here’s another Paul Kelly classic that has nothing to do with OSS. πŸ˜€

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks these documents are quite a well presented way to keep the high level all within view – I guess many of us have had that moment with MS Project when we’ve wished for a much bigger screen (or had problems sticking pieces of A1 paper together!)

    I imagine these could also be used with appropriate colour coding to communicate quickly the big picture re work items on track or under stress etc.

    Paul Kelly – legend! πŸ™‚ have only seen him play once, but was with Dave Graney & the Coral Snakes, was a memorable night.

  2. Hi Evan,

    Great idea about using similar colour-coding techniques for communicating different messages such as project and/or activity status.

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