Archive for April 22nd, 2004

BBC new media cluster matrix, reloaded.

There’s a mini management shuffle afoot at the New Media Mainframe again… after the goings on of the pass year, people are naturally suspicious.

Sometimes working for the BBC is a bit like being in the Total Perspective Vortex. You’re sort of plugged in, shown a Powerpoint with lots of vertical and horizontal boxes with euphemistic job titles, and all you really want to know is… where am I? And there’s not even a piece of fairy cake.

Still, my favourite BBC New Media Structure Chart was neo-classical in design. Each dept, (tech, design, dev etc.) was represented by a pillar, then a pediment of project managers, and finally management perched, like the Elgin Marbles, in a triangle on top. Ahhh halcyon daze.

See, the BBC has a core set of values (right at the bottom of the page), and on the whole they’re well meaning, if a little generic.

But the problem can be implementing them. To quote, ‘creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation’. Well to that I’d add ‘but bad management and blurred corporate vision is a tourniquet to that lifeblood’.

Or ‘We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together’… Hmmm, case in point: At a recent user testing we showed a non BBC user Virtual Garden. A great little app that lets you and Titchmarsh redesign you own garden in 3D. And the user said “Great, can I do the same for my kitchen?”… silence. Heaven forbid the online Gardening team talk to online Homes team and re-skin it swapping flowers for fridges. Result? We end up with average products and services that don’t serve the user, which goes against another value ‘Audiences are at the heart of the everything we do….’

close the hatchback…slowly.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
April 2004