Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  Jun 12, 2024  ★

The Directly Responsible Individual

Apple is a famously secretive company, but over the years since Steve Jobs passed away, they've slowly let us peek behind the curtain and learn a little about what makes them tick. This is one of the keys to consistently creating great products inside a huge organization.

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The "directly responsible individual (DRI)" is one of Apple's famous management techniques. Perhaps it's well-known only because we get so little information about the inner-workings of the company, but the concept is simple: everything at Apple, from the largest products like the iPhone, to the smallest action item or software feature gets assigned to someone who is directly responsible. The buck stops with that person and it's up to that person to get it done or find the resources needed to get it done.

Like so much at Apple this approach is simple and elegant. There is no room for ambiguity. The person responsible is totally clear. It leaves no room for pointing fingers when something goes wrong. So this year I want to test this technique with hitting our goal of growing retail sales by 30%. There are a few crucial things that need to happen in order for us to hit this goal, and we'll be assigning each of these to a directly responsible individual at the company.

We'll check back in and let you know how it goes. If you haven't heard about this concept it's worth looking into.