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Thoughts of last weeks lecture

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Times fly when you’re having fun. I completely missed that a lecture was posted last week so I have a lot of catching up to do. I can’t believe this course is almost over and unless I’ve been misinformed, this was the last “lecture” of the course even there is another QA planed.

The title of last weeks lecture was “Capacity, Capability, Stakeholders and Risk management” and was held by Gunnar Wettergren. Once again Gunnar delivered and interesting and entertaining lecture, I appreciate the informal style and tone of his lectures.

I’ve written a previous post on utilization of capability in large, hieratical organizations and how it would be interesting to study this in a later assignment or thesis. In this lecture Gunnar, and the students, talked about this in the context of portfolio managers not owning resources.
In the written assignment I looked at an organization that used an agile framework to handle this in one of their departments. There were limitations but the framework seemed to be working really well for smaller projects and initiatives. I’ll write a blog post about it later this week.

I agree with Gunnar that stakeholder is a tricky bit. Identifying stakeholders are perceived as easy but my experience tells me it’s harder then most people think. Getting stakeholders involved and getting them to realize they are important for the success of a project or that they will be affected by the deliverables of the project can be a time consuming task. Assessing the engagement level to identify possible activities seems appropriate. I found the visual representation to be really useful.

What’s your thoughts on the lecture? Did you take anything with you? Please, leave a comment!

Handling capabilities in a hierarchical organization

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As I previously stated, I’m employed by the Swedish Armed Forces; an extremely hierarchical organization. You would assume that decisive leadership for the optimization of utilization would be common in such an organization – believe me, it is! However, in such a hieratical structure, I imagine it’s hard for management to get an overview of the organizational capabilities. I know for a fact that key competence that could be utilized disappear when they are organized in inappropriate organizational structures; making them “invisible” in the organization as a whole.

A few years ago, the Swedish Armed Forces implemented a new IT system. In the “internal commercial campaign” a mission commander could find specialized skills anywhere in the organization using this tool. He then deployed combat ready specialist, with full gear, with just the click of a mouse. To be fair I’ve never seen these functions be used and we still use excel sheets to report which courses, competences and certificates our civilian staff hold.

This would be a really interesting masters thesis to look into. How are organizational capabilities balanced and optimized in such a hierarchical organization.

What do you think? Do you work in a larger organization with good control, balance and optimization of capabilities? Please leave a comment.