My Seven Wondrous Assumptions of a Industrialized Service Organization

I recently gave a speech at the CAST conference in San Jose.  I met many interesting professionals that are on the cutting edge of software testing.  These folks are rebels in their industry and stretch the bounds of “normal software testing.  Have a conversation with them and you will know what I mean.  It wasn’t the speech where I got to understand the thinking, it was the informal conversations and a continuation of questions after the speech.

Truly, anyone in an organization can have an impact in changing a system, most just don’t know how.  In fact, working with organization I find that most people know that their organization is doing things wrong, but lack the words to make change happen – at least, change that is improvement.

Studying organizations requires understanding some counter-intuitive thinking about the design and management of work.  In my speech, I described them as wondrous assumptions in our current thinking.  Listed, they are:

  1. Managers and Specialists Know Best
  2. Dividing the Work
  3. Beginning with Plan
  4. Focus on Budgets and Costs
  5. It’s Down to the Individual
  6. Copying
  7. Standardization

If you don’t understand the arguments, or better, know how to find evidence that challenges these assumptions . . . here is a good place for you to start.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Learn more about the The 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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