The Overcommitted Organization

by Mark Mortensen and Heidi K. Gardner

A SENIOR EXECUTIVE WE’LL CALL Christine is overseeing the launch of Analytix, her company’s new cloud-based big-data platform, and she’s expected to meet a tight go-live deadline. Until two weeks ago, her team was on track to do that, but it has since fallen seriously behind schedule. Her biggest frustration: Even though nothing has gone wrong with Analytix, her people keep getting pulled into other projects. She hasn’t seen her three key engineers for days, because they’ve been busy fighting fires around a security breach on another team’s product. Now she has to explain to the CEO that she can’t deliver as promised—at a time when the company badly needs a successful launch. ...

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