What Kind of Tennis is That?

In conversation with a client–out of respect I won’t reveal who, unless they come forward to say it’s okay–this subject came up:

The game of tennis was being used to metaphorically describe coaching. “The coach tells you to turn your side to the net, to grip the racket this way, to follow through.”

The response was “That’s fine for your area. But my area needs to know how to hit the ball when there are twelve balls coming at once.”

What this emphasizes is the importance of crafting an operating framework for your business that isn’t simply a moshing together of best practices for developers. If the framework is to be effective, meaningful and useful–heck even usable, which is different and more fundamental than being useful–it must adapt (scaling sideways) to all areas of your enterprise. It must be light enough to work for all areas, and that means that it should be weighted towards principles and go into process only as deeply as is necessary.


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