mangosteen: (allwork)
[personal profile] mangosteen
In business and in life, it's useful to have a meta process going in your head about the level of the conversation. Are you discussing things at the same layer of abstraction as everyone around you, and if you're not, is there a reason?

This is how you get the geek vox clamantis complex: "This won't work. The salesperson is deceiving you. 'Strategic advantages' won't matter if it takes up too much RAM. The latency will be ridiculous! WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!?!"

Which, more often than not, tends to be a case of a conversation being held at a different level.

Which, to be fair, can sometimes result in "IT being told to implement something impossible because it was sold to the C-suite without further input."

Which, in turn, results from IT relegating itself to an "implementation engineer" role and not making the effort to make the partnerships with the higher levels of the organization.

Date: 2014-12-11 07:34 pm (UTC)
dpolicar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dpolicar

Many years ago, I was involved in a training exercise in which we were given case studies of bridge-building.

So I got the famous Tacoma-Narrows and gave a little presentation about it, and was feeling proud of myself when asked about take-aways for making the general observation that it's not enough to analyze the system on day one; you have to understand how the system is going to interact with its environment over time.

And the trainer asked me what the project had gotten right, and I laughed and said "Well, nothing! I mean, it's hard for a bridge to go more wrong than literally shaking itself to pieces and falling into the water."

And he shook his head and said "No, actually, they got almost everything right. There actually were people who wanted to get from one edge of the river to another, and were willing to use a bridge to do so, and they had the resources to actually finish building it. All they got wrong was the bridge implementation itself, and when they rebuilt the bridge with a better architecture it was successful. They could have done much worse."

And indeed, several of the projects other students went on to discuss failed entirely and unrecoverably because they'd gotten that stuff wrong, even though the architecture was sound.

Which is to say, yeah, projects can fail at many different levels of abstraction.

Date: 2014-12-12 06:53 pm (UTC)
jducoeur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jducoeur
Yep. One of the things I've rather enjoyed about leveling up to Architect a few jobs ago is that (at least, at the small companies I work with), I have the title necessary to pound into peoples' heads that Product Management and Engineering *must* have a hand-in-glove partnership, with constant discussions (for me, usually literally every day) between the What, Why and How sides of the problem and a process that allows that to come out with a good result...

Date: 2014-12-13 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...which, in turn, results from the C suite not bothering to ask their technical specialists about anything, and being considered idiots by their employees as they're leaving the company.

The reach should come from the C suite. They've employed people who have various specialties. Failing to consult those specialists and making decisions without appropriate information is a fine way to lose the respect of the specialists, and possibly lose them outright.


mangosteen: (Default)
Elias K. Mangosteen

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