Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quick change of plans

Last Tuesday I went to bed at night thinking that in the morning I would start a road trip from Netherlands to Portugal (more than 2000 Km, a two day trip). On Wednesday I woke up at 6:30, open my computer I searched for flights from Amsterdam to Lisbon, bough the ticked from EasyJet and 10 hours after leaving home in Netherlands I was at my home in Portugal.

That's how quick things can change when one has the possibility of choice and one of the reasons why I feel that big companies fail to steer in the current market. Managers should have the power to take decisions to change targets and ways of doing things. Standardization works only if all the products are a copy of one another and in Software each project is a individual entity.

The problem seams to be that managers higher on the echelon of command decide on a way to do things, sometimes without having any real contact with software development (sometimes they remember a project they did some decades ago) and pass that command into the middle managers. This managers, on the other hand, not only have no real power of decision but also are rewards for being complacent. Initiative is something alien to middle managers - not of their fault but of the structure where they are integrated. They spend all of their energies focusing on the wrong problems: how to fill that spreadsheet, understanding the desires of the higher managers, attempting to apply plans and ideas that have no connection with reality. Ahh!… and higher manager felt in awe with this "agile" thing so everything has to become agile. Except when it come to dealing with the higher managers. Then it's still the old method of fulfilling deadlines with half baked products.

I wonder if a big company can avoid this trap to productivity…

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