Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Business Stuff (Calling Bill Carlson)


You comments in my "Busines Guys" Thread below were great, I really appreciate it.

1) Can I quote you in documents?

2) I'm starting to work on a presentation called "Process Improvement when you're not the boss" - want to be a reviewer?

3) -- Someone else posted that, essentially, people in technology generally work harder than people in business.

I've seen this before - the manager or executive just has to decide between two things, and goes to his subordinate for recommendations.  So, basically, all he really has to do is decide which subordinate to agree with. :-)

Also, he goes to lots of meetings.

Sadly, this doesn't really ADD VALUE to the organization.  What the manager should be doing is inspiring, creating a shared vision and common culture, and running around, re-arranging the funiture so the subordiates can get things done.

"Real" management is -hard-, I admit.  Sadly, it's been my experience that lots of people in leadership positions don't "really" manage, and seem to get away with it for years in a row.    In tech, I've seen less slackers.  (Allthough I have seen slackers, just less % of them.)

So, is this analogy right, and why?  Something seems ... off about it.


Matt H.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003


You're welcome to use anything I've posted; no need to attribute a source.

Your process improvement presentation sounds like a very worthwhile endeavor.  Hope you're able to post a link when it's complete.  Unfortunately, I'm swamped, otherwise, I'd be glad to assist.

I liken software development to being an auto-mechanic.  They go through life hearing "sometimes when I hit the gas, the car hesitates, how much to fix this?"  Could be one of a hundred things, so how can this question be answered.  Same with medical care.  Or politics.

It's no coincidence that auto-mechanics, physicians, and politicians are some of the most despised professions.  There is no certainty of outcome or cost.

I'd throw software development (and IT) into the mix as well; for the same reasons.  The personality types drawn to highly technical work tend to be optimistic.  They have to be, since software development is a bit of a "leap of faith".  You almost always start without knowing all the answers beforehand.

This is going out on a limb, but I've noticed a coorelation between ability to manage one's own personal life and finances and the ability to deal with management.  Can you present a cost/benefit analysis?  Does your personal integrity get you a hearing?  Do people come to you when they want "the real scoop".  It all matters.

Anyway, best of luck on your presentation!

Bill Carlson
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home