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Design project management in the style of BDSM


The design management is a very interesting thing, it seems as if it is, but on the other hand, it is not. At the same time, there exists an unstable verge between reality and fiction, and many people make good money on that, including me.

Honestly, this text writing pursued the selfish goals: it is some touchstone to be sent to people with which we will have to collaborate.

After we dot the i's and cross the t's, we have to either rush headlong into the abyss of passion, or delimit our areas of activity completely. So, let us talk about the screwups and why they cannot be fixed.

Part One: Bondage


Many people of a particular humanist mentality greatly overestimate the positive effect, which gives us the wonders of science and technology that are used by the producers of calculating and control systems.

No kidding! They begin to discuss the difference between Basecamp and MS Project, write reviews, read reviews, and feel the importance of the moment. Particularly inveterate guys write their own systems. I had a friend whom I wrote two task control systems, and then after a few years, he asked me to do that once more.

Indeed, all these systems are designed primarily to automate the process. The last two words suggest that the use of the system must be one process.

The system itself does not create the process.

Namely, the reason "file clock.xls is blocked when two managers are accessing that, it is necessary to put the system", and it will be okay.

Although, there are reports, tags and forms that when we look and see how things sort through.

Especially, if there will be the Gantt chart. The coolest thing is if a single phase will be screwed-up in the Gantt chart, the others automatically are shifting that is a very valuable quality. Unfortunately, all this is not happening in life.

In particular, an outstanding expert and author of articles on the project management tried to give me the project on a sticky yellow piece of paper with squiggles, although he knows well the differences between a Project and Megaplan, and I think, he will correct me if I wrote something that is not right about Gantt.

I would like to note separately one more goal to set the similar systems: to calculate the efficiency of employees in a neat table form.

As if it could not be seen by the naked eye. It is always clear: this one is too tight, another lies, the other works like a horse, but he cannot get it right. If we have 200 people, it gets the more difficult, but when we divide these 200 people into groups, it would get easier to work with the groups.

We can put a lot of different info in the table of 200 lines. For example, highlight in red an employee that was ill, missed a workday or just talented and does not care about a task tracker.

Discipline


That is not all. In general, the task tracker may be in itself a goal, but the goal usually is a discipline.

Yeah, there are sitting a lot of different guys, getting good money, and only god knows what they are doing there:)

The thought crossed my mind, what they screwup, sabotage, and the most arrogant ones make money on the side, continuously eating free office’s cookies. Therefore, it is necessary that someone has to come and shake them rigid. Of course, I wholeheartedly hate programmers, but the problem is not the case.

As a humble man, I always thought that the design and technology are secondary to Dame Fortune (business).

Namely, if the business is efficient and going well, then the production goes along with that.

It is not even that a surplus covers the production’s faults. Here is rather, that we are strong, that allows us to eliminate the bad things and replace it with good without fearing the operating costs.

How about when we have faults in the main process, it is all projected into production perfectly well. I do not want to sound proofless, so I will give a few examples.

Sadism


In this case, it is better to move from theory to practice right away.

Here is the first example: a syndrome of the last spurt.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has formulated a simple theorem: "The longer all things are bad for you, the less likely that they will get better."

That means, if a person is already living 10 years in a refugee camp, it is unlikely the person will return home by Wednesday (this cynical example comes from Taleb’s life - he is from Lebanon, he knows better).

So, we have some project with the delayed time-frame, which is about to be handed over.

At the other end is a customer who wants to get a fair compensation from us, because we did screwups before in the form of free features, or the customer has changed the business requirements over the delayed time-frame of the project.

Therefore, we try to make a decision what to do in this situation, may be another bonus will work.

As a bonus:

• All project has already delayed time-frame: "That will not work."
• A code is written but not tested. It has the bugs in it. The customer is angry and thinks that we own him some extras.
• All market changes are not considered, because it gives the impression that someone does not do the full amount of work.
• Other people are drawn away from the deterrent projects, therefore, they also go into the syndrome of the last spurt.

So, someone should go to the customer (including internal) and tell: "Guys, something went wrong, let us be honest with each other" and:

• Close the project right now.
• Split it into two parts, one should be closed now, release the product, and in a couple of months to formulate the requirements for the second stage on the basis of production history.
• Close it right now and give the customer some bonus, and the bonus has to be cheap for us in a form of: SEO, SMM, banner drawing, social networking applications – it could be anything with a big "reloading" button.
• Do not spend moral and physical strengths of leading experts on a project, because they could supposedly finish fast it all: let the “servants” to work on it, at the same time they sort out exactly how projects are done in the company.

Here is the second example: a syndrome of low blood (low cost).

We often try to do the work with the lower cost than it deserves.

This is called the "optimization process".

If we are doing something for the external customer that expects to receive a product, for example: for 10 dollars, and we bring the product for 3 dollars, it is true that customer may sent us back. In addition, the customer could send us back again, when we will bring another product for 7 dollars.

If we decided to save on the company, then we obviously will get a lot of bliss at the time of service and the lost profit.

A special case of this problem is usually one model set: the one that tough guys show the customer, but it does not mean that the only one model set was created.

Masochism


There are angry customers and stupid managers, it is well-known, but not a complete list of bad guys. For justice' sake, it is worth to remember the developers.

In the heart of every developer lives a dream to make something beautiful, cool and unique.

The result is a situation, where a lot of resources are being spent on something incomprehensible and beautiful.

At the same time, all this is steadily moving in the direction of the syndrome of the last spurt.
In this case, we should divide it into the steps.

• Select the parts of the system, which functional could be described in one sentence.
• Make form a separate part a small little working thing™ and implement in the current functional.
• Look for the handy stuff and build a smaller product.

Moreover, the elegant offices, riding on scooters, hookah in the workplace corrupt us: in fact, a person can get pleasure right from work, because the person has the amygdalae in the brain that perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions.

P.S.


Here is a little bit more on Basecamps.

We all live in the 21st century. There are the neuronets, clustering algorithms, and the robots that play soccer and backgammon. Why should I fill in the report form of a hundred lines, which looks as if it was designed by the dinosaurs?

At the same time, we still get skype messages.
There are possibilities that allow us just to parse the messages and make the reporting from them. Why has not it been done yet?
BumBum 6 january 2012, 16:00
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