Showing posts with label MBAholes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MBAholes. Show all posts

Monday, November 11, 2013

Is Management Structure Even Necessary?

How about a different "model" for management? Perhaps the Polaroid corporation management model? To challenge the conventional WhizDumb & perhaps even your assumptions about setting up a standard management structure and lots of process, consider the success of Polaroid, in creating the 60-second instant camera. To quote from an article that frequently compares Edwin Land with Steve Jobs:
There was no managerial structure supervising the diverse groups involved. There were no written specifications that had to be accomplished. There was never any scheduled plan for when any task had to be completed. Yet one person, knowledgeable in every field involved, orchestrated this endeavor by challenging the available technology and the ingenuity of the many persons involved and expanding the boundaries of both. That person was Dr. Edwin H. Land.                                        [ref: here; viz. 1994 Optics & Photonics News]
Let's break this down point by point:

  • no managerial structure
  • no supervision structure
  • no required written specifications
  • no schedule
  • no plan
Can you imagine such a working environment? I doubt it. It requires a Land. It also represents the opposite project management approach to that of the Big 4, where "Methodology" and "Process" are co-Regents, and guarantee automatic success, except of course, when the project ends up in cost and time over-runs, cancellation, failure, and litigation. Somehow I've never seen those last 5 process "pathways" explored, or even described in the Method/1 documentation, although almost every project I've seen them work on has ended up traversing them. 

TheHackerCIO will leave the implications of this as an exercise for the reader. A sort of meditation exercise. But the point TheHackerCIO takes away from this is that all the apparatus of the Big-8-6-5-4/MBAhole establishment: process, managerial structure, specification, scheduling, planning, managers who know nothing about anything but management, and, of course, the Litigation Department as a Profit Center -- all of that is not a necessary condition for success. 

And it's interesting to ponder: is a lone innovator orchestrating an entire project, pushing others to achieve what they thought was impossible, is that the ideal model for innovation? Given the extraordinary achievements of both Land and Jobs under this model, is certainly enough to make one consider it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

An MBAhole

Valuing and dis-valuing are two sides of the same coin! To love spicy-hot foods means, inversely, that you don't care that much for bland fare. And so, the passionate values of TheHackerCIO lead quite naturally to an equally strong distaste for some things in the technology world.

One of those distasteful subjects are the many MBAs brought in by the typical Pathological Enterprise (those bloated Behemoths of paycheck-collectors) to direct and manage technology projects. The reductio ad absurdum of this practice is bringing in the The Big 8-6-5-4, a Government Created Financial Oligopoly nominally created to put Official Blessing on company documents. But they have taken it upon themselves to cash in on their unique position by pretending to understand technology as it applies to financial systems. TheHackerCIO can count at least a dozen times where he had to suffer alongside these consultants. His very first experience with them was the waste of a year of his life and career in tending and overseeing a doomed package implementation. Here was where the familiar pattern was first revealed: 
  • Deliverables that were technically in order, but didn't provide the needed functionality.  
  • Dispute with the client about the contract.
  • Project put on hold.
  • Legal takes over.
  • Project failure & cancellation.
I'm not sure if it is technically true, but rumor held that this particular consulting group used their Legal Department as a profit center. And such appeared to be the case, at least on this occasion. 

Why anyone would hire an accountant when they need a programmer is beyond me. Can you imagine a startup doing that? "Yes, Bill, I know you asked for 3 Ruby programmers, but I found these excellent recent graduates of a major, prestigious university who know all about Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology, and are backed up by an organizational expertise in accounts-payable, accounts-receivable, and inventory-control. Plus, they've all been through a 10 week "boot camp" on how to manage your projects." Yeah, that would fly.

One of their characteristic gambits is the initial use of top-level experts who really know their stuff. But these quickly dissolve into the woodwork and are replaced by ambitious 21-year-olds whose knowledge of technology is about as deep as a kiddie scripter, but who has been trained in a boot camp that methodology can replace expertise in producing results.

The combination of youth and arrogance is typical and particularly ugly. And so, that's why I call this particular phenomenon: The MBAhole.

TheHackerCIO no longer works on projects with MBAhole defined management.

But he will offer free advice to those who chose to do so.

Instead of putting accountants in charge of your technology project management, put your legal department in charge of it. That way, they'll be ready when the project gets closed down.

I Remain,


Monday, September 30, 2013

Advance Apologies

No Offense intended!

TheHackerCIO isn't known for pulling punches. When he spars, he tends to spar hard. Especially when shadowboxing!

You should know in advance that there is a clearly defined audience for this blog. That audience is TheHackerCIO, and TheHackerCIO alone. So, nothing written here should be taken to apply to every member of a roasted group.

I'm sure that there must be bloated, hidebound, Behemoth corporations which are not Pathological. Where the bureaucracy is easily sidestepped in favor of accomplishing real change. Where employees are passionate about their work and product. Well, maybe I have my doubts. But you get the idea. Please don't take offense and go complaining about these opinions to TheHackerCIO.

Likewise, not every MBA is an MBAhole. Not every Big Four Consulting Group is completely useless and inept. Well, OK, in the case of the Big Four, yes every single one is useless and inept. Because it's structured to be so. The people they have who are awesome technologists are shills in a mighty Bate-And-Switch con-game. These groups use their legal departments as profit centers! So, yes, all of these people should take offense and quit reading. Your values -- if you have any -- are not my values.

But, any of you out there taking offense at these passionate, deeply held values, you are actually kind of a voyeur or Peeping-Tom for reading this blog! This is written primarily for personal consumption. If you're here, it's by permission only.

I can tell you that the intended audience for this blog has given it a 10 star rating! Every time TheHackerCIO reads a blog entry he heartily enjoys it. He's never laughed so much in years. It must be adding years and years to his life, as well as enriching it in new and varied ways.

Anyway, if you do take offense, I apologize in advance. So sorry.

I Remain, Somewhat Sorrowfully,