The ‘Dream Team’ / Mastermind alliance is a time tested, proven, effective and extremely efficient framework to accomplish a set task. The more bodacious the undertaking, the more crucial it is to adopt it. Dan S Pena A.K.A ‘The Trillion Dollar Man’ utilizes it to create generational wealth. Skunk Works has used it consistently for decades to keep America on the cutting edge of global military dominance. This is how to incorporate Clarence “Kelly” Johnson’s 14 rules in the new normal to utilize a very lean, highly skilled, international mastermind alliance to execute a specific task with Blockchain technology in Africa.
Skunk Works is Lockeed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP) nick name coined from a satirical comic called Lil Abner by Al Capp. A joke while answering the phone working on the top secret P-80 plane in a tent next to a plastics factory that smelled really bad simply stuck. The P-80 was designed, developed and built in 143 days, thus several days before deadline. The approach is to cut through the bureaucracy, utilizing an extremely specialized group of individuals with adequate funding to achieve a set goal in a very short time frame.
There are numerous opportunities which Bitcoin and Blockchain technology presents Africa that will be realized by adhering to the template of Kelly’s 14 rules. The most notable adoptions are IBM developing the IBM PC in less than a year in the 80s and Steve Jobs handpicking 20 people to give the world the Mac. The new normal has expedited the migration online making it possible to engage and collaborate with leading experts, professional as well as various stakeholders in the Bitcoin and Blockchain in real time. Africans have great ideas that will benefit the Crypto world when the rules below will be incorporated with existing technologies to make them a reality. Sources not only currently funding but actually prioritizing African projects in line with ESG frameworks are also featured to get you started.
KELLY’S 14 RULES
The Skunk Works manager must be delegated practically complete control of his program in all aspects. He should report to a division president or higher.
Hiring smart people and trusting them to make good decisions cognizant of the context of their role in fulfilling the preset overall objective of the project is key.
“If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame”
Each and every member of the mastermind group is specifically chosen for their competency and skills. The head of every specific task force is by default exceptional thus only needs crystal clear guidelines for instance: Duration they have to complete the project, specific designs they must incorporate and or specific targets they must meet. They should thus directly report to a very senior individual in the organization who has the power and authority to make decisions. This simply saves time which is a very scarce resource in the very dynamic Crypto and blockchain scene.
Strong but small project offices must be provided both by the military and industry.
The United States Government engaged Skunk Works to provide them with cutting edge military hardware thus facilitated them to get the job done. Not only paying for the finished product but even sourcing raw materials and issuing ‘special’ documentation for the staff to travel in secret. As a department of Lockeed Martin, Skunk Works also required the parent company to facilitate it to accomplish what it set out to achieve.
Facilitation in regards to space, equipment, tools, software and anything else required to get the job done is the only way to make sure that your Skunk Works, works. The mastermind group needs to be provided with everything it requires to achieve the preset goal, fulfilling all the stipulated guidelines within the set timeframe.
The number of people having any connection with the project must be restricted in an almost vicious manner. Use a small number of good people (10% to 25% compared to the so-called normal systems).
Kelly via Skunk Works utilized 23 designers and 105 fabricators to conceptualize, design and build the P-80 in 143 days which flew for 40 years. Boeing used more than 10,000 engineers for the 777 aided by cad software.
“The reasonable man adopts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself, therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”
George Barnard Shaw
This demonstrates clearly how a very small team of very highly specialized and dedicated professionals handpicked to complete a specific task can accomplish it with precision even if they have fewer resources.
A very simple drawing and drawing release system with great flexibility for making changes must be provided.
A small group is cohesive enough to clearly communicate especially with today’s technological advancements thus have full scope of what they need to know to execute their objective. Slack is a great example of a tool that an international team can utilize to stay perfectly synchronized. Various hackathons have proved how valuable the platform can be to specialized groups with a singular purpose.
Totally eliminating rigorous documentation and unnecessary protocols that big, less specialized workforces need to realize even mundane tasks should not apply to the Skunk Works.
There must be a minimum number of reports required, but important work must be recorded thoroughly.
Skunk Works ‘Dream Teams’ are solely dedicated to specific tasks which are cutting edge thus novel endeavors. Very detailed recording regarding the advances make on route to solving challenges posed to them to fulfil the project is key. This will act as a template to improve upon the project in future.
Bothered with petty inconveniences that do not affect the end products efficiency and effective operation should not be of concern. Skunk Works SR-17 was the fastest plane ever built however it spilled fuel while stationary. Kelly’s ‘Mastermind Alliance’ chose not to solve that problem as all they needed was for the plane to go Mach 3+ at 90,000 feet carrying the Central Intelligence Agencies (C.I.A) high resolution spy camera. There were not fuel systems seal that existed that could work at the entire range of temperatures the plane operated in. The dripping fuel did not matter as once the plane was airborne it would immediately refuel in the air then once at altitude and speed it would heat up and stretch thus everything would seal.
Sticking to the very specific scope of the project and meticulously recording, calibrating, improving and finally realizing the set objective is the only thing that matters.
There must be a monthly cost review covering not only what has been spent and committed but also projected costs to the conclusion of the program.
Funding fuels Skunk Works. Accurate and transparent accounts give a clear picture to the party funding the project thus they are confident in continuing to provide the needed monetary injection. This also results in high confidence especially on successful completion of projects for the party, in Kelly’s case, the US government to secure more projects in the future.
Projected costs enable the management of the Skunk Works plan well in advance to avoid any delays in furnishing the ‘Mastermind Alliance’ with everything they need to get the job done in time.
There are organizations actively giving grants to expedite the adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technology in Africa. GET FUNDING.
The contractor must be delegated and must assume more than normal responsibility to get good vendor bids for subcontract on the project. Commercial bid procedures are very often better than military ones.
Commercial bid procedures to date are more expedient and transparent especially in Africa than military ones. Having pre-qualified contractors that know what is at stake especially in regards to timelines is important. They will endeavor to make sure all subcontractors deliver the highest quality and in a timely manner on all consequent projects regardless of the cost.
Contractors who are synchronized to the mode of operation of Skunk Works recognize the sensitivity of projects. Unlike their counterparts in similar operations who stall projects, they strive to deliver at all costs. A delay in delivering a component or service at the cost to the project should see them replaced with legal recourse taken with immediate effect.
The inspection system as currently used by the Skunk Works, which has been approved by both the Air Force and Navy, meets the intent of existing military requirements and should be used on new projects.
Setting up an inspection and evaluation criteria from the start of all projects streamlines operations. Kelly’s Skunk Works primarily served the United States military thus the set inspection system which worked on the initial projects saved a lot of time for his ‘Mastermind Alliance’ going forward.
Push more basic inspection responsibility back to subcontractors and vendors. Don’t duplicate so much inspection.
Having pre-qualified subcontractors and vendors who you trust to deliver based on their credibility is important to achieving Skunk Works objectives. As they are aware of the time sensitive nature of the project as well as high quality of goods and services needed, carrying out basic inspections should be delegated to them.
The contractor must be delegated the authority to test his final product in flight. He can and must test it in the initial stages. If he doesn’t, he rapidly loses his competency to design other vehicles.
Testing at all stages of the project should be done to make sure sufficient progress is being made in line with the stipulated timeline. The ‘Dream Team’ as well as the party that has initiated the project should both be involved in periodic testing. This makes the Skunk Works accountable and very cognizant of the timeline.
The specifications applying to the hardware must be agreed to well in advance of contracting. The Skunk Works practice of having a specification section stating clearly which important military specification items will not knowingly be complied with and reasons therefore is highly recommended.
You must take the time before commencement of a project to identify the specific materials and or services required to achieve the goal. The goal is to make sure the contractors are in a position to acquire and deliver what the Skunk Works needs in a timely manner.
Clearly stating why, you choose not to use specific items and or services as requested by a party initiating the project with reasons why should be taken into consideration. This serves to avoid wasting time with back and forth correspondents or meetings. As long as the objective is achieved, what the ‘Mastermind Alliance’ chooses to work with being the experts is satisfactory.
Funding a program must be timely so that the contractor doesn’t have to keep running to the bank to support government projects.
Securing significant funding before starting a project as well as the monthly financial projections will make sure the Skunk Works is sufficiently provided for.
Here is another source to secure funding that every Africa based ‘Mastermind Alliance’ should go for specifically in regards to Crypto and block chain technology.
There must be mutual trust between the military project organization and the contractor, the very close cooperation and liaison on a day-to-day basis. This cuts down misunderstanding and correspondence to an absolute minimum.
Transparency and accountability within the Skunk Works and a party if any initiating a project is crucial to the realization of the pre-determined objective. This creates trust as everyone’s expectations and goals are clear from the onset. Relationships initiated in such a manner will survive and thrive to realize the successful completion of very many projects.
Access by outsiders to the project and its personnel must be strictly controlled by appropriate security measures.
Keeping the ‘Dream Teams’ project on a strictly need to know basis is important to maintain an edge over competitors especially if there is a commercial monetary goal. While some projects are open to everyone to see and collaborate in real time, safeguarding the integrity of the project is vital. Bad actors online make this increasingly difficult due to hacking if appropriate security measures are not taken to keep the work private both on and offline.
As per the contract with the ‘Mastermind Alliance’ especially if they are not working remotely, ensuring they are insulated from outside disturbance while on sight is doable. Access control systems thus strict essential staff only rules are some steps Skunk Works management should put in place.
Because only a few people will be used in engineering and most other areas, ways must be provided to reward good performance by pay not based on the number of personnel supervised.
The world pays no one for what they know but rather for what they do and or induce others to get done with what they know. Skunk Works being a special project demands a lot from the carefully vetted team members thus they must be enumerated exceptionally well for them to deem it worthwhile.
The sole means to not only attract but retain the world’s top talent in any field regardless of your goal is to pay top dollar. Silicon Valley is the best example of this as the best and brightest globally want to work for the technology giants which greatly value and generously compensate their members of staff.
Earning the most amount of money will always be one of the primary motivating factors for most highly skilled individuals that consider to work any Skunk Works. Several other considerations such as climate change, LGBT+ rights as well as how women and persons living with disabilities are treated at the workplace are now top considerations to many people. Alignment to ESG frameworks being adopted internationally is a necessary undertaking to ensure your ‘Dream Teams’ values are taken seriously. Very many individuals will even take a significant pay cut to work in an organization that is ESG compliant thus this should not be taken lightly.
Due diligence must be carried out on every person being considered to be in a ‘Dream Team’ / Mastermind alliance. The competencies, experience, expertise, networks, knowledge and skills required of them to execute what they are specifically needed to in the Skunk Works project must be established beyond reasonable doubt.
The best entry level tool to utilize for this exact purpose in the Bitcoin echo system and all industries at the top level is LinkedIn. All professionals globally worth their salt regardless of their sector have a presence on this platform. Do not let the anonymous cypherpunk mystic in Crypto fool you. There are numerous angel investors, experts, professionals and stakeholder in Bitcoin and blockchain technology ready and willing to engage, connect and collaborate in various projects.
Living in Africa and being subject to various evolving restrictions due to COVID19 lockdown measures does not limit your ability to stake your claim in the Bitcoin echo system. Bring your ideas to life and provide value to everyone in the globe through blockchain technology by forming your highly skilled and dedicated Skunk Works mastermind alliance. When you incorporate it with tools like Slack, Zoom and Signal App, it will open endless possibilities to collaborate in the Bitcoin echo system. I will get you started with a name, BitWorks.