Where to start? Where to focus?

In this company that I am now doing my internship – Company X – I have now been part of it for 4 weeks, and I’m still confused. Yesterday I figured out that there is a big marketing department doing indepth market studies in the regions of Africa my project might go into. And they do both qual and quant studies. So first question is then: What is the role of this entire unit I’m in when there is already a big department with lots of researchers doing almost the same?

Is it just the Design&User insights’ manager Mr. E’s way to keep designers in the company? Using user insights as an excuse to keep the designers together by creating a new dept., even though it would make more sense to merge the User Insights activities with the team already doing that (Group Market Research). Instead they have had external agency C.Partners doing personas study for Europe. Seems very well-done but unknown by the GMR people and not understood or used properly by the project teams.

It seems like the management level is overloaded, too big, fragmented and unstructured. Quotes from employees such as: “when you start something in this company there’s probably always someone else who’s done it before’.

Maybe one of the issues is that it is a former (still?) publicly owned company used to operate as network operator and now getting into ICT businesses and digital services. From looking at the ideas for new services and products it does not look like there is much direction or underlying ‘red thread’ in what is done, and the ideas do not seem well thought through, but more like the results of a first brainstorm with only incrementally new ideas or copies of other companies services.

The technocentres (where I am) are supposed to combine the ideas from R&D with user’s needs to come up with new products, but it is very unclear what projects are actually going on, and from talking to the employees there does not seem to be good communication between the two departments (T.C. and R&D).
Next to the fact that there does not seem to be a culture of talking to or making use of each others competencies, it seems hard and confusing to get and overview of who’s working where and who have the competencies needed for a project – in case you are one of the few who actually try to look for competencies in the organization. Therefore many projects seem to be initiated based on local initiatives in the different departments (not necessarily bad) and then with the people that you or your closes colleagues know about. If that’s a general pattern then the company’s progress is very much determined by the strengths of the internal networks and how well people know each other and have overview of the organization. The latter seems not to be the case.

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About mortengrau

well...I'm just Morten... :)

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