Saturday, December 19, 2009

Disney Company Process Models

Was sent an article on an early Walt Disney process oriented organisation chart.

An interesting debate has ensued on the site about on what this shows about the nature of the Walt Disney company in the 40's. In effect, were they more strongly process oriented?

However, I feel as though this may be a slight misnomer to see the organisation chart as a real indicator of company ethos. My observation is that the process oriented vs hierarchy simply shows different views of the same sets of processes and resources interacting. A simple assumption would be that people gather around processes that they are naturally involved with, due to their skill sets. The more common hierarchy diagram is quite valid; I would use it if I needed to answer a question about who my manager is at the time.

While I'm sure a business would benefit from such visualisations of their processes, I wonder if they show what obviously happens anyway, when a group of people in a company work together. I've never thought about my work as a hierarchy, more as a social network gathered around a set of tasks; in my case, to teach and to research. But then again I work in a University, where we are driven strongly by our own interests. The private sector will, of course, differ strongly on this point. So, I will leave the deep analysis to the management experts.


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