The Blog Thing, And Five More Thoughts

In other news, my post has caused somewhat of an uproar. A tip of the (well, you can't tip an ) to Tim Bray, who puzzled over which points I agreed (or not) with him - I was simply striving for balance and trying to debunk the whole "blogging is the best thing since sliced bread" thing, and yes, with a somewhat Oriental take on things.

At my current stress level, being able to detach myself from issues and look at them dispassionately is the only skill that I can safely attest to possessing.

The odd thing (at least for me) was that I started getting referrers from blogs on corporate blogging, and given that of have a distinct /"Corporate Survival Tactics" feel, I wonder if my audience isn't shifting away from vanilla geeks :)

So, allow me to dump a few more ideas on you. And yes, I like them in fives:

  • CEOs and CTOs wax lyrical about the new "corporate Renaissance man", the all-singing, all-dancing knowledge worker that can adapt to the new matrix organizations, with flat hierarchies and rotating task forces. But even the most flexible people burn out if you rotate them every six months, their minds clogged with the mental static of doing too many things at once.
  • In the same line, reorganizing is not the same as empowering. Breaking lines of communication that work and forcing people to hurry to establish new (often shaky) ones does a lot more harm than good in the long term. Instead of boxes, move a minimal amount of individuals around - pick the ones that know how things work (not the ones officially in charge) and make them responsible for improving them.
  • Internal SLAs should not have average response times - they are essentially meaningless, and will be subverted by rushing lots of simple tasks - which in turn leads to mistakes. Instead, they should have minimum guaranteed response times, and whatever you use for internal accounting should keep track of peak values.
  • If you have three teams doing a part of the same business process, you should seriously consider making it one. You might not be able to achieve that, but you will surely trim it down to a point where you get it down to two teams. Again, don't just read the memos or trust periodic benchmarks - get out of your cozy office and talk to someone who can point you to where the problems are.
  • Don't do centralized programme management by creating "a project office". Those people will soon become so far removed from reality that they will believe dragging a milestone in Project actually makes things happen. Get them to sit next to the implementation teams and discuss their plans with them - you'll get a lot less fluff and unnecessary detail on your Gantt charts, but the information you do have will be more accurate.