One way I talk about organizational structure is how it configures the components of People, Technology, Processes, and Projects. All organizations have at least People, Processes, and Technology which works together to enable the organization to function, survive, and thrive. Defects in any one of these components or how the components work together can create a dysfunctional or dying organization.
What has puzzled me is how these components actually work together and how to best optimize their contributions to the overall operations of the organization. This is becoming an increasingly important question as advanced technology impacts every aspect of organizational life. So, this is how I see the components shifting toward a future organization structure:
- Technology both enables people by relieving them of routine processes and magnifies their creative, collaboration, and communication abilities.
- People play an increasingly important part in developing innovative visions for projects. They also initiate and refine processes until the processes can become fully-automated.
- Projects create new processes and process refinement/obsolescence creates the need for new projects.
I'm still working on the exact nature of the components' interactions and how to set up a self-balancing mechanism for optimizing the projects-to-processes to projects cycle. Also vital to this conceptual model is the interplay between people and technology.