"We don't have any committees." That's a quote from Warren Buffett talking to Charlie Rose
a while back. There are many fine bits in this interview, but that gem
Buffett blurts out toward the end of the conversation -- right after he
talks about how he has no human resources department or investor
relations department or public relations department. Pretty remarkable,
don't you think? Probably even more remarkable is that there are only
19 people at corporate headquarters at Berkshire Hathaway, which has 73
businesses and a U.S. federal tax return running more than 10,000 pages
on top of all the state returns and foreign returns. But the "no
committees" comment got my attention because he so casually dismissed
committees as things that degenerate into "make work" with people
acting as "liaisons" between committees reporting to each other and
around you go wasting time and money.
A lesson for all projects. Do you really need that committee? Or can you simply do your job and trust others to do theirs? The very best project managers I know all feel the same way about committees. And they'd agree with Buffett.