You are in the future. You were sent by a magical wormhole as you entered the elevator, What do you see? The remains of your company, destroyed… The only clue to what happened? An organizational chart where all boxes read: “Manager”. They’ve finally done it, they’ve destroyed the company by turning everybody into a manager – Random Manager
It took forever, but I finally received my POTM T-shirt from my Germany-based e-friend, Vasco Duarte (@duarte_vasco). W00t!
You can get your very own copy of the POTM masterpiece here: POTM T-Shirt.
Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust. And another one gone, and another one gone… – Queen
Companies that have a superficial dual career ladder love to delude themselves into thinking they have a real one. The alternative, which is “unacceptable!” because it would trigger an unsettling feeling of cognitive dissonance and undermine a self-image of infallibility, is to simply own up to the inconsistency and stop lying to themselves and their constituents.
It’s always a sad affair to watch brilliant engineers jump from the dead-end technical ladder to the golden management ladder because it’s the only way they can do more for themselves and their families.
Sometimes the “promotion” works out fine for both the org and the newly minted manager. But sometimes it achieves a double loss. The engineer morphs into a crappy manager with poor people skills, a propensity to obsess over schedules, and a bent toward micro-managing technical details. Plus (or should I say minus?), the org’s product development group loses precious technical expertise. D’oh! I hate when that double whammy happens.
Oh ratz! BD00 wishes he concocted this brilliant “Planet Of The Apes” parody T-shirt:
But alas, BD00 didn’t create the masterpiece. The Random Manager team did. Damn it! Here’s the BD00 rip off version:
In mediocre 20th century orgs, some ambitious managers are always trying to get something out of their DICs for nothing so that their personal project performance metrics “look good” to the chieftains in the head shed. Nickle and diming “human resources” by:
- calling pre-work, lunchtime, or post-work meetings,
- texting for status on nights/weekends,
- adding work in the middle of a project without extending schedule or budget,
- expecting sustained, long term overtime without offering to pay for it,
- not acknowledging overtime hours,
- “stopping” by often to see “how you’re doing” without asking if they can help
does not go unnoticed. Well, it doesn’t go unnoticed by the supposed dumbos in the DICforce, but it does conveniently go unnoticed and unquestioned by the dudes in the head shed.
What other “nickel and dime practices” for getting something for nothing can you conjure up?
Check out this “bent” pair of UML sequence diagrams:
The system on the right is pretty loosely coupled, no?
In his latest book, Gary Hamel proposes that executives and managers ask an important question every day:
It would be a refreshing change from these daily questions:
- How can I get Wall St. off my back?
- How can I get the board to give me a bigger bonus?
- How can I stop my VPs from bickering with each other and kissing my ass?
- Can I blame my poor performance on the economy, fickle customers, and a natural disaster in China?
- How can I squeeze more productivity out of my DICs and trade nothing in return?
- What new management position can I create to extinguish this latest fire?
- How can I ensure that my legacy will be revered?
Checkout this tidbit that I e-received from LinkedIn.com:
There are two ways to interpret the “why” of the importance of volunteer work to hiring managers:
- 4 out of 10 managers value compassionate and caring employees
- 4 out of 10 managers value employees who will work lots of unpaid overtime
Maybe its a 50-50 split between the two “whys“?
Middle managers often suffer from a bum rap. There’s pressure from above to meet schedule and cost, and there’s pressure from below to trade schedule and cost for quality. Since their bread is buttered from above, the likelihood of middle managers being able to deftly handle those conflicting demands equitably is low, very low. Ya can’t blame them for capitulating to the demands from above, right?
This post is an updated refinement of BD00’s class hierarchy for the manager types previously presented in the UCBH post. For your viewing displeasure, I’ve reproduced the “rev 0” version of the inheritance tree here:
The “rev 1” version, with all class operations elided because they’re not important for understanding the message I want to get across, is shown below. The absence of the “Tweener” in rev 0, which inherits the attributes and operations from both the “Bozo” and “Helper” classes, was a major mistake.
“Rev 1” is a much more accurate mental model of the manager kingdom because, as the probability density function below shows, the vast majority of manager “objects” are of the relatively boring, harmless, and ho-hum “Tweener” type.
If you look closely at the threshold locations in the scraggly drawn probability distribution, BD00 has postulated that even though the population is comprised mostly of “Tweeners“, there are more BMs than PHORs. Do you agree?
Luckily and happily, BD00 has never worked for, or with, a conscious BM. But he’s directly heard, and indirectly read, several stories from those poor souls who have (are you one of them?). Thus, BD00 is convinced that they do exist in nature.
All models are wrong. Some, however, are useful – George Box
I’m a member of several C++ programming groups on LinkedIn.com. Because I’m passionate about programming and software engineering, I like to share links to what I think are interesting C++ articles to the groups.
Bam! Out of the blue, I get this BS “warning” from a hot shot moderator of one of the groups:
After challenging this self-important dude to point out some examples of “off topic” postings, to define excessive “posting frequency“, and to provide the name of my accuser, I received silence.
Out of curiosity, I contacted the group owner and asked WTF was going on. He checked into the situation and said that I wasn’t posting too frequently (of course, there IS no rule about posting “too frequently“) and that he enjoyed my posted links. Nevertheless, I quit the group since there are many other C++ groups to contribute to without being hassled by a power monger and control freak. Life is too short.
Via a simple analysis of the content in the “scary” warning message, I arrived at the conclusion that the dude was reading this bogus blog and got pissed off cuz he is either a BM or a BM wannabe – and the shoe fit. So, I sent a message to Mr. God and suggested:
“If my blog upsets you, then don’t read it.”
Of course, since he didn’t admit to it, I don’t know fer sure if Mr. little Hitler stumbled onto this blog and blew his stack . But, as you know, BD00 is prone to making stuff up and bouts of wild speculation. D’oh!