I was looking at Sydney’s org chart. I could see a familiar pattern.
“We have been working really hard on this,” Sydney explained. “Every manager knows who reports to them, so there should be no confusion. And every direct report has a manager.”
“I am just looking,” I said, “how many layers, or levels do you have on this chart?”
“That’s what took so much time,” Sydney replied. “We have 112 employees, in twelve layers. Pretty good job, neat and tidy.”
“Well, it all fits on one page,” I observed, “even though it’s a big piece of paper. Where did you get this printed?”
Sydney laughed. “The problem is, it looks good on paper, but not so good in reality.”
“Oh?” I said, with a diagnostic look on my face.
“Yes, like the guys on the shop floor. They all report to a Team Leader, Justin, best equipment operator we have. We told Justin, from now on, if they have a problem, you help them solve it. If they have a question, answer it. And at the end of the day, all the work needs to get done.”
“So, what’s the problem?”
Sydney took a breath. “The guys are now complaining that Justin is breathing down their necks. They say they already know how to do their jobs and that if they have a real problem, Justin is no help, they have to go to the supervisor, anyway. What’s worse, even Justin’s productivity is suffering, eight out of the last ten production days have been short to the work orders.”
“So, what do you think you are going to do?”