Peanut butter resource allocation

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I came across a great article on the peanut butter approach to resource allocation. Here’s how it works.

  • Start with way too many programs to be properly staffed or funded with current resources.
  • Experience extreme reluctance to axe any of these programs (because they are all such good ideas).
  • To keep everybody happy, spread a thin layer of available resources across everything, so everyone gets a share.

Everything is staffed lightly, so nothing dies.  However, nothing really takes off either, because no single program is staffed for success.  At the end of the day you have a swarm of zombie projects that collectively spell failure.

My take: keep the peanut butter in the pantry.  Step up and make the hard choices.  Figure out what’s important and axe what’s not important.  Not doing it is an invitation to a spectacular flop.

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2 Responses to “Peanut butter resource allocation”


  1. 1 themadpeacock December 11, 2009 at 2:37 am

    If you do have to step up and make the hard call; make it.
    Don’t “put it on the shelf”, it’s dead, say so.

    The team, the code, the go-to-market plan; none of it will be viable if you ever revisit the core idea again in the future.


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