Scale Amplifies Everything

Every business wishes to scale. More profits, lesser costs, faster time to market etc.

It is achieved by

  • adding more people, perhaps grouped by function
  • specializing the functions of these groups
  • defining rules of interaction between these groups
  • goal setting for the groups
  • tools and processes to facilitate interaction
  • and some means to monitor progress towards goals.

What usually gets ignored or underestimated is that scale has the side effect of amplifying everything. Every weakness, flaw and dysfunction is rendered large too.

Large systems and processes have the unfortunate side-effect of evolving niches where inefficiencies can survive and even thrive. Perhaps the goal is so critical that one grants the leeway for such discrepancies. Or perhaps visibility makes stakeholders vulnerable to increased criticism. And hundred other reasons.

Leave such dysfunctions unattended and scale becomes its own enemy.

I have my views on scaling while minimizing such negative side-effects. But what do you think? Would like to hear your views on the conclusions and what you believe to be solutions to scaling well.

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