Simplify, Standardize and Centralize – The Mantra of Fools

Industrialized service design in government and service industry continues to drag us all down.  Government and service companies with higher costs and customers with poor service and higher prices – somebody has to pay for the waste and sub-optimization.

Technology vendors make a ton of money selling their wares with the cover of simplify, standardize and centralize.  They will show you ROI on a PowerPoint but you can rarely find evidence that the TOTAL economic system has been improved.  Hype via marketing is a much stronger tool because in that world you can make up all kinds of stuff and not get challenged.  We (technology vendors) are making lots of money, it must be good!

In service, variety is the enemy.  Standardization fits the industrialized mindset.  But variety of demand is inescapable.  A counter-intuitive truth that remains foreign to government and service companies.

Technology is much cheaper to deploy when there is standardization.  The key word is deploy meaning code and sell.  The wrong questions get asked and the technology factory spits out more and more worthless software.

Centralization is all about getting economies of scale.  However economies are in flow, not scale.  Good flow of services involves an organizational design that is devoid of non-sensical functional separation of work.

Ultimately, making good decisions about technology comes down to knowledge and evidence.  The fools will make assumptions without evidence.

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 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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