Monday, September 01, 2014

Does Digital Transformation need 'Skunk Works' kind of environment?

Skunk Works is a term that originated during WWII and is the official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP).

Today Skunk Works is used to describe a small group of people who work on advanced technology projects. This group is typically given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy. The primary driver of setting up a Skunk Works team is to develop something quickly with minimal management constraints.
The term also refers to technology projects developed in semi-secrecy, such as Google X Lab.or the 50 people team established by Steve Jobs to develop the Macintosh computer.

For any organization embarking on a Digital Transformation journey, it would be worthwhile to build such as Skunk Works team that can innovate quickly and bring an idea to a required threshold of technology readiness. I have seen so many ideas die under the shackles of bureaucracy and long processes. Having a skunk works team operate like a start-up within your organization can do wonders in leap-frogging your competition in the digital age.