The game of “broken telephone” is often a riot at parties.
For those who don’t know what this is: Players gather in a circle and player one comes up with a message. They whisper it into the ear of someone next to them. That second player repeats the message to the next person and so on. When the last player is reached, they announce the message they just heard, to the entire group.
The funny part is seeing how different the final message is compared to the original one — because the final message is often WAY OFF!
No surprise, the more people in the circle, the more distorted the message becomes.
We have to think of product creation in a similar manner.
The more people that are involved in the process or at key alignment moments doesn’t mean that there is an equivalent amount of value being added. In fact, more people being involved might distort the process or impede it completely.
It’s better to think, that if you don’t add value to a product during its creation, don’t touch it.
Broken telephone is fun at parties, not when you’re trying to get to market faster.