First, there was X

First, there was X

12 March, 2023 3 min read
hype, Lean, Agile, organizations

First, there was a seemingly-magical new thing called X, a set of ideas that someone came up with, or put together, out of their own practical experience within an organization.

Soon afterwards, in your organization:

  1. “X project” (let that weird guy pilot X without risking anyone else’s career over it).

  2. “X initiative” (top-down, obviously, with proper steering boards and committees).

  3. “X PMO” (let’s dabble in it, more seriously now).

  4. “Global X Management” department (now we really take it seriously).

  5. “Head of Global X” (establishing X is his job now, he says he did it at this other company, and if it doesn’t work out we don’t burn one of our own).

  6. “X [function]” (we’ll show every person how X relates to their daily work).

  7. “Global X Manager” positions (headcount equals prestige).

  8. “X Internship” (fresh minds from the university will reinvigorate this thing!)

  9. “X Experience Exchange” (other companies that do X / are X will shows us how TF they succeed with it—after all, someone must be getting something out of X!).

  10. “X Pilot Projects” (for the colleagues we convinced it might be beneficial to their career to be an early adopter of X in a high-vis project).

  11. “X Coach” positions (duh, our people need to be coached, no wonder it didn’t work so far!)

  12. “X case study” (we will show the rest of the world how great we are through an MBA case on how X is our future!)

  13. “X toolbox” (a cute set of friendly guides and templates to help everyone get started with X, yay! kawaiiii)

  14. “X Summit” (we need to show the rest of the company that X still is a thing here).

  15. “X Innovation” (two birds with one stone, X is what was missing all along, obviously!)

  16. “X Process” (if we package X to legitimize it, they will have to use it!)

  17. “X metrics, KPIs, reporting and controlling” (how will you manage it if you don’t measure it? Duh, stupid!)

  18. “X Transformation” (with the help of MBB consultants, we will get X to stick this time around).

  19. “Guest lecture by a globally renowned X figurehead” (hey, don’t listen to us, listen to that famous guy, he was there when X was created!).

  20. “X Targets” (apparently everyone needs to have an X-related performance target to hit, otherwise they don’t get the full bonus—sticks and carrots, amirite?)

  21. “Global X Academy and certifications” (organizational development consultants told us we need to certify our people in X because they don’t get it without training, sigh…)

  22. “X 2.0” (all that stuff was 1.0, now we’re getting serious about X).

  23. “Chief X Officer” (seriously, if this doesn’t do it, then I guess it’s good we can blame this person).

  24. “X is folded into the PMO of the business units” (damage control, let’s move on, possibly to some other org who wants to do X… we did write a business case after all, lol)

Then, there was Y. Soon afterwards, in your organization…

For me, X was Lean and apparently now, years after I left my role, Y is Agile. What is Z? Who knows—I’ve put this nonsense behind me, career-wise. But it’s still fun to make fun of, and interesting from a sociological and anthropological perspective.