• Some governmental agencies have started to adopt No Wrong Door policies, which aim to provide help–often health or mental health services–to individuals even if they show up to the wrong agency to request help. The core insight is that the employees at those agencies are far better equipped to navigate their own bureaucracies than an individual who knows nothing about the bureaucracy’s internal function. (View Highlight)
  • Something I’ve been thinking about recently is how engineering organizations can adopt a variant of the No Wrong Doors policy to directly connect folks with problems with the right team and information. Then the first contact point becomes a support system for navigating the bureaucracy successfully. (View Highlight)
  • Beyond being helpful to your colleagues, which is an obvious goal in some companies and not-at-all a cultural priority in others, I think there are a number of other advantages to think about here. First, being helpful creates positive relationships across organizations. Second, it makes it more obvious where you do have genuine areas of ambiguous ownership, and makes it possible for informed parties to escalate that rather than relying on folks with the least context to know to escalate the ambiguities. Third, it educates folks asking for help about the right thing to do, because a knowledgeable person helping is a great role model of the best way to solve a problem. Finally, if you happen to route to the wrong person–it happens!–then you learn that immediately rather than forcing someone without context to navigate the confusion. (View Highlight)
  • The most effective mechanism I’ve found for rolling out No Wrong Door is initiating three-way conversations when asked questions. If someone direct messages me a question, then I will start a thread with the question asker, myself, and the person I believe is the correct recipient for the question. This is particularly effective because it’s a viral approach: rolling out No Wrong Door just requires any one of the three participants to adopt the approach. Even the question asker can do it, although the power dynamics of the interaction do make it a bit harder for them. (View Highlight)