Australian cricket team

Should we update cricket?

Cricket coverage on telly last night got me thinking. 

Cricket is viable, competitive, loved, and seen as a great opportunity for commercial advancement by sponsors. Which all makes it effective.

But by any organisational measure, it’s very inefficient. At any given time, most of the players are waiting. Waiting for a ball to come their way or waiting for a turn at bat.

How about we make it more efficient. How about we bring cricket into line with how we manage organisations. After all, these days cricket is really a business.

Why not introduce, to cricket, the concept full allocation of time? Let’s use up some of that spare capacity and ensure everyone is allocated completely. That’s the most efficient use of resources.

The more I think about it the more I think it has potential. There could be four games going on at the same time. With all the players playing in all four games. Confusion, overlap or conflicting demands would be bad. So, we’ll need four balls of different colours, so people know in which game they’re playing. The games can abut side to side and head to toe.

It can be done. I’m getting excited. The upside is so big!

Imagine having the waiting batters fielding while waiting to bat on another pitch.

As soon as a batter is out, they can pitch on another field.

All the while, waiting fielders and batters can be used to make runs so the batters don’t get so tired. 

Noooooo, I hear you plead, this would be a nightmare. 

I agree,

it’s a compelling concept but it makes no sense.

Yet on projects and programs, we expect people to do just that, Do their day job, deliver to one or more projects, dividing their time and loyalty, delivering top results simultaneously on a number of fronts.

The theory is that we can get more done in less time if we use people more efficiently.

Where cricket is effective but not efficient; many organisations are efficient but not so effective.

Perhaps the most effective approach would be to accept that sometimes the role of team members is to do nothing but watch and maintain readiness so they can do their very best work, exactly when and where it’s needed.

Perhaps instead of changing cricket we should change how we approach projects and programs.

Perhaps a little inefficiency can increase effectiveness.

What do you think?