Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh Management

Sure enough, the fact that software industry is crippled by technologically-challenged project managers is mind-boggling. But I have been recently flabbergasted by the shameless disclaimer of such a manager who, in the middle of a crucial meeting directly concerning her project, announced: "Sorry, I am not technical". Hence all this discussion was sheer geeky mumbo-jumbo to her and she could not grasp that her project was going astray.

This is sad. Not even funny. Just plain sad. Direct management of software developers can not be that clueless.

But I have prepared my childish revenge. Next time a manager will ask for estimates, I will pretend not to understand and will feign the following excuse: "Sorry, I am not managerial".


jf said...

This has been a very long battle for me and from time to time I pull out an old article called "Why decision makers need to understand the technology". See here :

David Dossot said...

Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

Nick Zhu said...

Hmm... that is sad, and I find people who have this kind of stand are usually proud of being not-technical, which makes no sense to me at all.

David Dossot said...

All this boils down to the myth that software projects can be managed like engineering ones, hence a generic project manager applying generic project management methods can do the job.

If all it requires to build an application is to prioritize tasks, link them together and synchronize with other managers, then yes, non technical generic project management can work.

In fact, in theory, this works.

If only we could live and work in theory only.

Tan said...

There is a disconnect between those who understand how to drive a business, and those that understand how to get the most from technology. There is also a disconnect between those who are managers, and those who are developing the product. Most of us believe that those that manage software developers should be as or more passionate about software than the developers themselves.

There is nothing more disheartening than being managed or lead by someone who cannot connect with you at the most basic level. Leaders who do not lead from within the group itself, risk being seen as an outsider or worse, as the enemy.