J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

The Five P's

The Five P's

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How do you design an org?  While there's lots of approaches, one of my mentors shared the 5 Ps approach with me.  To think about the org, you need to enumerate the 5 Ps to define the organization, the type of talent you need, overall organizational competencies, culture, etc.  If you don't know what you're trying to do, you don't know who to hire.

The Five P's
The 5 P's are:

  1. Purpose: What problem are you trying to solve and for who? This has to be more than a mission statement.
  2. Principles: This should touch on both the culture you want to develop as well as your guiding light in how you think about the problem you're solving and tradeoffs you will need to make. This should effectively establish your decision making framework on what tradeoffs you are and are not willing to make.
  3. Priorities: Enumerate all the things that are important to you, now stack rank them to focus the organization.
  4. People: Enumerate the types of people, competencies, experiences, and roles you need to support your Purpose. Quantify how many of each type you need.
  5. Process: This defines the rhythm of your business. Do you do monthly, semi-monthly, or quarterly progress reviews? With what frequency does your "leadership team" meet to discuss issues? How frequently is your management going to check in on the organization. Note you should stay away from detailed processes like scrum vs. waterfall and other day-to-day implementation details.
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