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1 %$Header$
3 \chapter{\cbmazerolongtitle{}}
5 \label{cbma0}
7 \beginchapterquote{``Being responsible sometimes means pissing people
8 off. Good leadership involves responsibility to the
9 welfare of the group, which means that some people
10 will get angry at your actions and decisons.
11 It's inevitable, if you're honorable. Trying to get
12 everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity:
13 you'll avoid the tough decisions, you'll avoid confronting
14 the people who need to be confronted, and you'll avoid
15 offering differential rewards based on differential
16 performance because some people might get upset.
17 Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices,
18 by trying not to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone
19 equally `nicely' regardless of their contributions,
20 you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind
21 up angering are the most creative and productive
22 people in the
23 \index{Powell, Colin}organization.''\footnote{General Powell's
24 presentation (\cite{bibref:d:powellleadershipprimer})
25 is an absolute goldmine of tremendous quotes. There were
26 many equally striking contenders for this spot (the opening quote
27 of the chapter about bad management).}}{General Colin Powell (Retired)
28 \cite{bibref:d:powellleadershipprimer}}
30 \section{Introduction}
31 %Section Tag: INT
32 With the comic strip
33 \index{Dilbert@\emph{Dilbert}}\emph{Dilbert},
34 and several books, \index{Adams, Scott}Scott Adams made his fortune
35 anecdotally characterizing bad management. Certainly, in any
36 country, \index{bad management}bad management
37 is an abundant natural resource
38 and a shortage of bad management is not
39 on the horizon.
41 We are less concerned with the humorous aspects of
42 bad management and more concerned with the practical
43 aspects. In this chapter, we offer opinion on the
44 following topics:
46 \begin{itemize}
47 \item What \emph{is} bad management (i.e. what do we mean by
48 \emph{bad management}
49 and what characterizes bad management)?
51 \item What do bad managers do?
53 \item Which employees are most sensitive to bad management?
55 \item In practical situations, how should one deal with bad
56 management?
58 \item What are the best strategies for escaping unrewarding
59 work situations?
60 \end{itemize}
62 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
64 \section{Characteristics Of Bad Management}
69 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
71 \section{How To Detect Bad Management During The Interview Process}
73 The interview process is naturally an opportunity for a prospective
74 employer to form impressions of a prospective employee; but it is
75 also an opportunity for the prospective employee to form impressions
76 of the prospective employer. In this section, we supply some suggestions
77 about what to look for during an interview.
79 \subsection{The Automobile Taillight Analogy}
81 One of us (\index{Ashley, David T.}Dave Ashley, \cite{bibref:i:daveashley})
82 has an acquaintance who has described his method of evaluating
83 a used car (for purchase) as checking every electric light in the
84 vehicle to be sure that it works. The stated rationale is that if
85 all of the light bulbs in the vehicle are maintained, the probability
86 is high that other [major] vehicle maintenance has also been performed.
87 Similar reasoning \emph{may} (or may not!) apply to evaluating
88 a work environment.
90 Stated more formally, it may be advantageous to find easily observable
91 indicators which correlate well with the quality of the work environment
92 at a company.
94 We are not sure precisely what indicators should be used,\footnote{We welcome
95 suggestions here \ldots please e-mail us \ldots{}} but the two
96 strongest indicators that immediately come to mind are coding standards
97 and lessons learned.
99 \begin{itemize}
100 \item \textbf{Coding Standards.}
101 During the interview process, it may be a good idea to inquire about
102 what coding standards are in place within the organization, to
103 ask to examine the standards, and also to inquire how the coding
104 standards are enforced (in some cases, tools such as QAC or
105 PC-LINT may automate this
106 process). The rationale for inquiring about coding standards
107 is that maintaining order in the primary workproduct of
108 software development---the code---is a fundamental goal.
109 An organization that has no coding standards in place probably
110 has other serious problems.
111 \item \textbf{Collection Of Lessons Learned.}
112 In any organization that produces embedded products, product failures
113 of one kind or another have probably occured. These may be cases
114 where a software defect has made its way into production, or even
115 software product build process failures where a software defect
116 was due to the build process or where a software load was not
117 reproducible from version control archives. A mature organization
118 would document and collect these failures, in order to feed them
119 back into the training (so that software developers don't make a
120 similar mistake again), into the process (if any changes in the process
121 would decisively prevent recurrence), and the tools (if the defect
122 is automatically detectable). During the interview process,
123 it may be prudent to inquire if product problems are documented
124 and fed back to prevent recurrence, and to inspect documentation
125 of past product problems. An organization that does not collect
126 product problems and try to prevent recurrence may have other
127 serious problems.
128 \end{itemize}
130 \subsection{The \emph{What You See Is What You Get} Rule}
132 During the interview process, any prospective employer will have a tendency
133 to misrepresent chronic problems as acute problems. As a general rule,
134 \textbf{problems of any type observed during the interview process are
135 \emph{chronic} in nature, no matter what claims are made by the employer.}
137 An analogy involving overweight people may help to explain this point.\footnote{We
138 mean no disrespect or insensitivity towards people struggling to maintain a
139 healthy weight. However, the analogy is rather good, and for this reason
140 we would like to use it.} It is very common to meet an overweight person
141 who describes themselves as ``trying to lose weight'', i.e. being actively
142 on a diet. However, a study of overweight people who are ``trying to
143 lose weight'' would probably reveal that nearly all of them are struggling
144 with a chronic problem---nearly all were probably overweight five years
145 in the past and will be overweight five years in the future. For this reason,
146 when one meets an overweight person, it is a safe guess statistically that
147 the condition is chronic.
149 Organizations are very similar to individuals in that patterns of behavior
150 are slow to change. Diets do not usually work. Individuals find ways---even
151 while on a diet---to consume ice cream and hamburgers. Organizations are
152 similar in that self-reform measures rarely succeed. Organizations, like
153 individuals, find ways to sabotage their own stated objectives.
155 For this reason, any anomalies observed during the interview process are
156 almost certainly chronic rather than acute; no matter what claims
157 are made by interviewers.
160 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
162 \section{The Employment ``Dating Game''}
166 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
168 \section{Authors And Acknowledgements}
171 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
174 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
177 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
180 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
183 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
186 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
188 \noindent\begin{figure}[!b]
189 \noindent\rule[-0.25in]{\textwidth}{1pt}
190 \begin{tiny}
191 \begin{verbatim}
192 $HeadURL$
193 $Revision$
194 $Date$
195 $Author$
196 \end{verbatim}
197 \end{tiny}
198 \noindent\rule[0.25in]{\textwidth}{1pt}
199 \end{figure}
201 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
202 %
203 %End of file C_BMA0.TEX


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