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Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do

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  • acockburn@aol.com
    Message 1 of 27 , Jul 14, 2005
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      <<
      [Managers:] If they knew what I know, they wouldn't need me working for them.
      >>

      This is of course not true. I can indeed be capable of every aspect of what
      I'm trying to accomplish, but simply not have the time to tackle it all. Hence
      I hire people to do that, and put myself in the place of manager. I have
      personally done this in software development, and I suspect that pretty much
      every site foreman in the construction industry is in the same place. Very many
      team leads in the hardware/software industry are in this position, also.


      <<
      You can not manage what you can not do.
      >>


      This is of course not true. What is important is the quality of the
      communication between the technical expert and the manager.

      Here's a thought experiment I did a long time ago in a country far away : A
      person is a technical expert. He(She) rises in the ranks, managing more and
      more people. At some instant, he(she) is given assignment over someone who is a
      specialist on a topic that he(she) is not a specialist in. Suddenly the
      manager has to come face to face with the fact that he(she) cannot expect to be
      able to do everything that the line people can do.

      ... time passes and technology evolves. Now the specialty that our manager
      once was a superexpert in is pretty much obsolete (radar, the hot specialty
      from the 1940s comes to mind). If the manager has been busy paying attention to
      proper management topics, such as how to motivate people and what the
      business climate is doing, then he(she) has come face to face with the notion that
      not only is it inevitable that he(she) cannot be able to do everything that
      the line people can do, it is also not appropriate for the to try to be able to
      do everything that the line people can do.

      ... and this manager now becomes intensely dependent on the quality of the
      information the technical expert(s) are handling over ... and oh by the way,
      the technical experts are intensely dependent on the quality of the information
      that the business manager is handing over to them !

      ... which gets us to Kent's point:

      <<
      My managers and I are trying to accomplish something together. What I can do
      is keep our shared goals in mind as I do my work. When I don't, I'm sure I
      complicate my manager's work at least as much as they complicate mine.
      >>

      ... which is completely true.




      Alistair




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • SirGilligan
      ... for them. ... of what ... all. Hence ... I have ... pretty much ... place. Very many ... also. ... the ... I understand what you are saying (here and
      Message 2 of 27 , Jul 14, 2005
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        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, acockburn@a... wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > <<
        > [Managers:] If they knew what I know, they wouldn't need me working
        for them.
        > >>
        >
        > This is of course not true. I can indeed be capable of every aspect
        of what
        > I'm trying to accomplish, but simply not have the time to tackle it
        all. Hence
        > I hire people to do that, and put myself in the place of manager.
        I have
        > personally done this in software development, and I suspect that
        pretty much
        > every site foreman in the construction industry is in the same
        place. Very many
        > team leads in the hardware/software industry are in this position,
        also.
        >
        >
        > <<
        > You can not manage what you can not do.
        > >>
        >
        >
        > This is of course not true. What is important is the quality of
        the
        > communication between the technical expert and the manager.
        >

        I understand what you are saying (here and below) but empericall I
        have experienced the results of managers that can not do what they
        are managing and I have seen it fail. Maybe I am attributing the
        failure incorrectly.

        For example:

        I grew up on a dairy farm. I was taught how to milk cows, raise
        calves, cut hay, grind corn into feed, etc. I was also taught how to
        maximize milk production and minimize feed cost. I watched as well
        intending people would come from the University with some big idea on
        how to increase milk production. My father would listen and point out
        problems with the idea, and then continue doing things the "old" way.
        Neighboring farmers would turn over the management of their business
        to the "guy with the idea." More often than not the idea was
        abondoned fairly quickly because the expense was too great. Sometimes
        it would put the farm out of business. Most often the cattle suffered
        from the idea. These "guys with ideas" had good intentions but
        consistently and continuely failed. They couldn't manage what they
        couldn't do. What was it that they couldn't do? They couldn't run a
        dairy farm profitable. They never had done it and they couldn't
        theoretically do it.

        I have not worked an assembly line job like your analogy, so I don't
        know anything about that.

        I have worked in software quite a bit and I have seen well intending
        managers make decisions that adversly affect development. Due to
        whatever reason, politics, lack of respect (because of missed dates),
        no clout, whatever, the development team could not override the
        management decision and the results were bad.

        For example:
        A manager that "grew up" through the ranks of DOS development. This
        manager was in charge of a Macintosh product. The user interface that
        the manager required was one that was close to the DOS product as
        could be created. It wasn't easy to make the good old Mac jump
        through such hoops. After pointing out the GUI guide on the first
        pages of "Inside Macintosh" it still didn't matter. The product was
        an insult to the Mac community.

        All of these examples are reasons one should choose XP or some Agile
        process. The Mac issue could have been easily resolved with a
        customer.



        > Here's a thought experiment I did a long time ago in a country far
        away : A
        > person is a technical expert. He(She) rises in the ranks, managing
        more and
        > more people. At some instant, he(she) is given assignment over
        someone who is a
        > specialist on a topic that he(she) is not a specialist in.
        Suddenly the
        > manager has to come face to face with the fact that he(she) cannot
        expect to be
        > able to do everything that the line people can do.
        >
        > ... time passes and technology evolves. Now the specialty that our
        manager
        > once was a superexpert in is pretty much obsolete (radar, the hot
        specialty
        > from the 1940s comes to mind). If the manager has been busy paying
        attention to
        > proper management topics, such as how to motivate people and what
        the
        > business climate is doing, then he(she) has come face to face with
        the notion that
        > not only is it inevitable that he(she) cannot be able to do
        everything that
        > the line people can do, it is also not appropriate for the to try
        to be able to
        > do everything that the line people can do.
        >
        > ... and this manager now becomes intensely dependent on the quality
        of the
        > information the technical expert(s) are handling over ... and oh by
        the way,
        > the technical experts are intensely dependent on the quality of
        the information
        > that the business manager is handing over to them !
        >
        > ... which gets us to Kent's point:
        >
        > <<
        > My managers and I are trying to accomplish something together.
        What I can do
        > is keep our shared goals in mind as I do my work. When I don't,
        I'm sure I
        > complicate my manager's work at least as much as they complicate
        mine.
        > >>
        >
        > ... which is completely true.

        Yes it is true. Why because it is all about "me" and what "I" can do.

        The problem lies in what the other person does.
        And if the problem is real and serious then maybe the developer needs
        to change jobs and find a place were they fit in better.

        Thanks,
        Geoff
      • aacockburn
        ... Indeed. I believe it all hinges on the following, and see these ... of the information the technical expert(s) are handling over ... and oh by the way,
        Message 3 of 27 , Jul 14, 2005
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          > I understand what you are saying (here and below) but empericall I
          > have experienced the results of managers that can not do what they
          > are managing and I have seen it fail. Maybe I am attributing the
          > failure incorrectly.

          Indeed. I believe it all hinges on the following, and see these
          sentences reflected in your examples:

          > ... and this manager now becomes intensely dependent on the quality
          of the > information the technical expert(s) are handling over ...
          and oh by the way, > the technical experts are intensely dependent
          on the quality of the information > that the business manager is
          handing over to them !

          I've never had a software manager that could code the stuff we coded,
          and I've had a number of successful project managers above me. The
          difference is in the quality of trust and communication between the
          programmers and the manager. Of course, if the programmers lie to the
          manager, or the manager doesn't listen, then that merely illustrates
          the point I'm trying to make.

          cheers - Alistair
        • Brandon Campbell
          ... To jump in on this topic I have seen it both ways I have seen project managers that have been coders and but the best managers that I have worked with are
          Message 4 of 27 , Jul 14, 2005
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            On 7/15/05, aacockburn <acockburn@...> wrote:
            >
            > > I understand what you are saying (here and below) but empericall I
            > > have experienced the results of managers that can not do what they
            > > are managing and I have seen it fail. Maybe I am attributing the
            > > failure incorrectly.
            >
            > Indeed. I believe it all hinges on the following, and see these
            > sentences reflected in your examples:
            >
            > > ... and this manager now becomes intensely dependent on the quality
            > of the > information the technical expert(s) are handling over ...
            > and oh by the way, > the technical experts are intensely dependent
            > on the quality of the information > that the business manager is
            > handing over to them !
            >
            > I've never had a software manager that could code the stuff we coded,
            > and I've had a number of successful project managers above me. The
            > difference is in the quality of trust and communication between the
            > programmers and the manager. Of course, if the programmers lie to the
            > manager, or the manager doesn't listen, then that merely illustrates
            > the point I'm trying to make.


            To jump in on this topic I have seen it both ways I have seen project
            managers that have been coders and but the best managers that I have worked
            with are not "computer people", it almost always requires an entirely
            different skill set to lead/manage a successful project than it does to
            successfully deliver code on one.

            I think that one problem that teams are facing, is that they have senior
            programmers who are "ready" for a promotion and think they should become a
            project manager, but that isn't always the best next step for us
            anti-social, no-people skill, interface-with-the-computer-all-day
            programmers, we just don't have the training and skill set for it. For the
            most part we are doomed to fail.

            For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a project
            manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and been on
            enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's the
            kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think it is
            going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
            learned on the job, that other jobs learn.

            my $.02
            --
            Brandon Campbell


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • William Pietri
            ... I d agree that managers who meddle in things they don t understand are dangerous. The best managers I ve had don t do that, and when I manage things, I try
            Message 5 of 27 , Jul 14, 2005
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              On Fri, 2005-07-15 at 01:28 +0000, SirGilligan wrote:
              > These "guys with ideas" had good intentions but
              > consistently and continuely failed. They couldn't manage what they
              > couldn't do. What was it that they couldn't do? They couldn't run a
              > dairy farm profitable. They never had done it and they couldn't
              > theoretically do it.

              I'd agree that managers who meddle in things they don't understand are
              dangerous. The best managers I've had don't do that, and when I manage
              things, I try to emulate that.

              To me, a good manager tells me their goals and constraints and turns me
              loose to solve their problems. When I run into issues or need resources,
              they arrange solutions. They spend time communicating with other parts
              of the organization so that I can focus on getting things done. And
              although they respect my opinions and generally give me wide latitude,
              they aren't afraid to make me defend them if they suspect I'm off base.

              For me, the best managers may or may not have known anything about the
              details of what I did. But they knew what they didn't know, and weren't
              shy about admitting it.

              Interestingly, the most dangerous managers I've seen were once who used
              to do what their people did. There was one guy, otherwise very nice,
              managing a few Java teams. His last programming experience was in VAX
              Basic, but he felt perfectly willing to give reams of technical advice
              to the Java programmers, and they generally felt obliged to follow it.
              As you'd guess, it was one of the worst code bases I have ever seen.

              William

              --
              William Pietri <william@...>
            • Ian Collins
              ... The best project managers are those with enough technical know-how to understand what developers tell them, but not enough to be tempted to meddle. ... Or
              Message 6 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                Brandon Campbell wrote:

                >To jump in on this topic I have seen it both ways I have seen project
                >managers that have been coders and but the best managers that I have worked
                >with are not "computer people", it almost always requires an entirely
                >different skill set to lead/manage a successful project than it does to
                >successfully deliver code on one.
                >
                >
                >
                The best project managers are those with enough technical know-how to
                understand what developers tell them, but not enough to be tempted to
                meddle.

                >I think that one problem that teams are facing, is that they have senior
                >programmers who are "ready" for a promotion and think they should become a
                >project manager, but that isn't always the best next step for us
                >anti-social, no-people skill, interface-with-the-computer-all-day
                >programmers, we just don't have the training and skill set for it. For the
                >most part we are doomed to fail.
                >
                >For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a project
                >manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and been on
                >enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's the
                >kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think it is
                >going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
                >learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                >
                >
                >
                Or an organisation that recognises the value of technical people and
                doesn't try and force them through the wrong shaped hole. I've seen
                this work a couple of times and I've seen organisations loose good
                people who don't want to be a manager.

                Ian
              • Ron Jeffries
                ... Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling me about this discussion. I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a
                Message 7 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                  On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell wrote:

                  > For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a project
                  > manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and been on
                  > enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's the
                  > kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think it is
                  > going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
                  > learned on the job, that other jobs learn.

                  Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling
                  me about this discussion.

                  I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing in
                  order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't necessary,
                  and might not even be desirable.

                  The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                  what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!

                  Ron Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                  Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                  --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
                  From: Ron Jeffries To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                    From: "Ron Jeffries"
                    <ronjeffries.at.XProgramming.com@...>
                    To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
                    <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
                    Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 4:31 AM
                    Subject: Re: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do


                    > On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                    >
                    >> For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a
                    >> project
                    >> manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and been
                    >> on
                    >> enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's the
                    >> kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think it
                    >> is
                    >> going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
                    >> learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                    >
                    > Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling
                    > me about this discussion.
                    >
                    > I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing in
                    > order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't necessary,
                    > and might not even be desirable.
                    >
                    > The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                    > what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!

                    I think a lot of it depends on your definition of "manager." If
                    part of the job is to teach people how to do the job and to
                    set up procedures (which is part of the classical definition of
                    manager) then you'd better know what you're doing.

                    If that isn't part of the job, then it's quite true, you don't really
                    need to know how the team gets the job done; you need more
                    of a facilitator skill set.

                    John Roth
                    >
                    > Ron Jeffries
                    > www.XProgramming.com
                    > Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                    > --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                    >
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                    > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                    >
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Ron Jeffries
                    ... According to Drucker, management s role is planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. I d expect the staffing heading, if no other, to
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                      On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 8:41:53 AM, yahoogroups@... wrote:

                      >> The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                      >> what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!

                      > I think a lot of it depends on your definition of "manager." If
                      > part of the job is to teach people how to do the job and to
                      > set up procedures (which is part of the classical definition of
                      > manager) then you'd better know what you're doing.

                      > If that isn't part of the job, then it's quite true, you don't really
                      > need to know how the team gets the job done; you need more
                      > of a facilitator skill set.

                      According to Drucker, management's role is planning, organizing,
                      staffing, directing, and controlling.

                      I'd expect the staffing heading, if no other, to include equipping
                      people to do the job ... but one doesn't have to be the teacher to
                      enable people to get educated.

                      As for setting up procedures ... does the manager have to create
                      them ... or just express the entry and exit conditions? I'd be
                      inclined toward the latter.

                      Ron Jeffries
                      www.XProgramming.com
                      Find the simple path to what works and follow it,
                      always looking for a simpler path. -- Patrick D. Smith
                    • Chris Wheeler
                      ... Odd, I don t see leading in this list. Is that what people are talking about? Not all managers are leaders - and management and leadership are different
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                        >
                        > According to Drucker, management's role is planning, organizing,
                        > staffing, directing, and controlling.


                        Odd, I don't see 'leading ' in this list.

                        Is that what people are talking about? Not all managers are leaders - and
                        management and leadership are different beasts.

                        My view is a bit more romantic, I suppose - leaders can't be assigned, nor
                        are they given job titles - they usually rise out of the group.

                        People follow leaders. They follow managers who are leaders. They rarely
                        follow those who aren't leaders.

                        Chris.

                        --
                        ---------------------
                        Chris Wheeler
                        Extreme Programmer & Coach
                        Visit my new site! http://www.agilelectric.com


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Ron Jeffries
                        ... I m not sure what Drucker s email address is, but the word doesn t occur in that short definition of management. ... Surely they are different. ... Yes,
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                          On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 9:25:36 AM, Chris Wheeler wrote:

                          >> According to Drucker, management's role is planning, organizing,
                          >> staffing, directing, and controlling.


                          > Odd, I don't see 'leading ' in this list.

                          I'm not sure what Drucker's email address is, but the word doesn't
                          occur in that short "definition" of management.

                          > Is that what people are talking about? Not all managers are leaders - and
                          > management and leadership are different beasts.

                          Surely they are different.

                          > My view is a bit more romantic, I suppose - leaders can't be assigned, nor
                          > are they given job titles - they usually rise out of the group.

                          Yes, I think so too. I think it's possible to learn a lot about
                          leadership. Might be possible to "become" a leader.

                          > People follow leaders. They follow managers who are leaders. They rarely
                          > follow those who aren't leaders.

                          This, I think, might be a bit too simplistic ... unless it's
                          intended as an operational definition of "manager" ... one whom
                          people follow.

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          Ron Jeffries, speaking for Boskone ... Out.
                        • SirGilligan
                          Ron, That was mean! ;-) I might be suffereing from the same thing you used to have. And you deny me the cure! What IS management? Geoff ... needs to be a
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                            Ron,

                            That was mean! ;-)

                            I might be suffereing from the same thing you used to have. And
                            you deny me the cure!

                            What IS management?

                            Geoff


                            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                            <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                            > On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > > For those of us that want to be a middle manager there
                            needs to be a project
                            > > manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough
                            projects and been on
                            > > enough projects that we can run a successful project, but,
                            and here's the
                            > > kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder
                            than you think it is
                            > > going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that
                            we haven't
                            > > learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                            >
                            > Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was
                            troubling
                            > me about this discussion.
                            >
                            > I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing
                            in
                            > order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't
                            necessary,
                            > and might not even be desirable.
                            >
                            > The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                            > what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!
                            >
                            > Ron Jeffries
                            > www.XProgramming.com
                            > Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                            > --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                          • Adrian Howard
                            On 15 Jul 2005, at 07:02, Brandon Campbell wrote: [snip] ... [snip] My partner (ex-librarian) always tells with glee the story of a library head who, to the
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                              On 15 Jul 2005, at 07:02, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                              [snip]
                              > To jump in on this topic I have seen it both ways I have seen project
                              > managers that have been coders and but the best managers that I
                              > have worked
                              > with are not "computer people", it almost always requires an entirely
                              > different skill set to lead/manage a successful project than it
                              > does to
                              > successfully deliver code on one.
                              [snip]

                              My partner (ex-librarian) always tells with glee the story of a
                              library head who, to the horror of the department, recruited a
                              supermarket manager as their counter manager.

                              Curiously enough managing people moving tins of beans and managing
                              people moving books wasn't that different and she did very well :-)

                              Adrian
                            • Victor
                              Nice story, Adrian. Victor ... From: Adrian Howard To: Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 11:27 AM
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                Nice story, Adrian.

                                Victor

                                ==========================================

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Adrian Howard" <adrianh@...>
                                To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 11:27 AM
                                Subject: Re: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do


                                > On 15 Jul 2005, at 07:02, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                                > [snip]
                                > > To jump in on this topic I have seen it both ways I have seen project
                                > > managers that have been coders and but the best managers that I
                                > > have worked
                                > > with are not "computer people", it almost always requires an entirely
                                > > different skill set to lead/manage a successful project than it
                                > > does to
                                > > successfully deliver code on one.
                                > [snip]
                                >
                                > My partner (ex-librarian) always tells with glee the story of a
                                > library head who, to the horror of the department, recruited a
                                > supermarket manager as their counter manager.
                                >
                                > Curiously enough managing people moving tins of beans and managing
                                > people moving books wasn't that different and she did very well :-)
                                >
                                > Adrian
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                >
                                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                >
                                > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • Chris Wheeler
                                ... I agree. There are experiences, convictions, and learnings that shape people into leaders. ... I ve thought about this. Is it really too simplistic? Surely
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                  >
                                  > Yes, I think so too. I think it's possible to learn a lot about
                                  > leadership. Might be possible to "become" a leader.


                                  I agree. There are experiences, convictions, and learnings that shape people
                                  into leaders.

                                  > People follow leaders. They follow managers who are leaders. They rarely
                                  > > follow those who aren't leaders.
                                  >
                                  > This, I think, might be a bit too simplistic ... unless it's
                                  > intended as an operational definition of "manager" ... one whom
                                  > people follow.


                                  I've thought about this. Is it really too simplistic? Surely there have been
                                  people that have managed you that you would never call a leader, yet I would
                                  hazard a guess that you did as you were told when that person assigned a
                                  task. And I'm sure that there were leaders who had no authority over you,
                                  and yet you carried out that person's assignments too.

                                  What's the difference? I think that 'doing what you are told' and 'following
                                  a leader' are different things. Is there more to it?

                                  Chris.

                                  --
                                  ---------------------
                                  Chris Wheeler
                                  Extreme Programmer & Coach
                                  Visit my new site! http://www.agilelectric.com


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Donald Roby
                                  ... shape people ... rarely ... have been ... I would ... assigned a ... you, ... following ... I feel a metaphor coming on... Inversion of Control. A manager
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                    --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Chris Wheeler
                                    <christopher.wheeler@g...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Yes, I think so too. I think it's possible to learn a lot about
                                    > > leadership. Might be possible to "become" a leader.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I agree. There are experiences, convictions, and learnings that
                                    shape people
                                    > into leaders.
                                    >
                                    > > People follow leaders. They follow managers who are leaders. They
                                    rarely
                                    > > > follow those who aren't leaders.
                                    > >
                                    > > This, I think, might be a bit too simplistic ... unless it's
                                    > > intended as an operational definition of "manager" ... one whom
                                    > > people follow.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I've thought about this. Is it really too simplistic? Surely there
                                    have been
                                    > people that have managed you that you would never call a leader, yet
                                    I would
                                    > hazard a guess that you did as you were told when that person
                                    assigned a
                                    > task. And I'm sure that there were leaders who had no authority over
                                    you,
                                    > and yet you carried out that person's assignments too.
                                    >
                                    > What's the difference? I think that 'doing what you are told' and
                                    'following
                                    > a leader' are different things. Is there more to it?
                                    >

                                    I feel a metaphor coming on...

                                    Inversion of Control.

                                    A manager of the type described here is controlling the details
                                    procedurally, and is involved at every step.

                                    A leader sets direction and allows the implementation details to vary.

                                    The word "delegation" seems to fit in both contexts as well.
                                  • Brandon Campbell
                                    ... You are welcome. I currently have the pleasure of working with a manager who has never been a developer. He understands that I know more about my job than
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      On 7/15/05, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a
                                      > project
                                      > > manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and
                                      > been on
                                      > > enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's
                                      > the
                                      > > kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think
                                      > it is
                                      > > going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
                                      > > learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                                      >
                                      > Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling
                                      > me about this discussion.
                                      >
                                      > I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing in
                                      > order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't necessary,
                                      > and might not even be desirable.
                                      >
                                      > The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                                      > what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!



                                      You are welcome.

                                      I currently have the pleasure of working with a manager who has never been a
                                      developer. He understands that I know more about my job than he does, but
                                      it's not his job to know more about my job than I do, (his words). Its his
                                      job to help me understand the projects/team/department/companies goals and
                                      my role in the organization and then remove all the obstacles that I
                                      encounter so that I can do the best job I can for the organization.

                                      It's been a good place to work so far.


                                      Ron Jeffries
                                      > www.XProgramming.com <http://www.XProgramming.com>
                                      > Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                                      > --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                      >
                                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                      >
                                      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com <http://objectmentor.com>
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >


                                      --
                                      Brandon Campbell


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Brandon Campbell
                                      ... It s been five years since I worked for a manager that has had more Java experience than I have and it s been longer than that the last time I had a
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                        On 7/15/05, yahoogroups@... <yahoogroups@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > From: "Ron Jeffries"
                                        > <ronjeffries.at.XProgramming.com@...>
                                        > To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
                                        > <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
                                        > Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 4:31 AM
                                        > Subject: Re: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >> For those of us that want to be a middle manager there needs to be a
                                        > >> project
                                        > >> manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough projects and
                                        > been
                                        > >> on
                                        > >> enough projects that we can run a successful project, but, and here's
                                        > the
                                        > >> kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder than you think
                                        > it
                                        > >> is
                                        > >> going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill that we haven't
                                        > >> learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                                        > >
                                        > > Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling
                                        > > me about this discussion.
                                        > >
                                        > > I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing in
                                        > > order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't necessary,
                                        > > and might not even be desirable.
                                        > >
                                        > > The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                                        > > what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!
                                        >
                                        > I think a lot of it depends on your definition of "manager." If
                                        > part of the job is to teach people how to do the job and to
                                        > set up procedures (which is part of the classical definition of
                                        > manager) then you'd better know what you're doing.


                                        It's been five years since I worked for a manager that has had more Java
                                        experience than I have and it's been longer than that the last time I had a
                                        manager or more senior developer coach me through a programming assignment.
                                        But the manager that I work for now has spent time helping me with my
                                        people/managing skills, so that I will be a more effective manager.

                                        I think that the training can come from classes and senior programmers. Let
                                        someone with people skills manage the people and let the computer people
                                        sling the code.

                                        If that isn't part of the job, then it's quite true, you don't really
                                        > need to know how the team gets the job done; you need more
                                        > of a facilitator skill set.
                                        >
                                        > John Roth
                                        > >
                                        > > Ron Jeffries
                                        > > www.XProgramming.com <http://www.XProgramming.com>
                                        > > Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                                        > > --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                        > >
                                        > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                        > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                        > >
                                        > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com <http://objectmentor.com>
                                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                        >
                                        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                        > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                        >
                                        > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com <http://objectmentor.com>
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >


                                        --
                                        Brandon Campbell


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Clark, David
                                        A number of years ago I read an article which surveyed a number of projects and measured the productivity of the programmers. That was the dependent variable.
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                          A number of years ago I read an article which surveyed a number of projects and measured the productivity of the programmers. That was the dependent variable. I can't remember how this was measured.
                                          The (rather strange) independent variaiable was who made the estimate of how long it would take. There were three possibilities.
                                          a) the programmers make the estimate
                                          b) a consultant makes the estimate
                                          c) a consultant makes the estimate in conjunction with the programmers
                                          Programmer productivity for b) was slightly greater than for a)
                                          Programmer productivity for c) was significantly greater than for b)
                                          However, they also considered a fourth approach
                                          d) the manager tells the programmers to tell him when they are finished.
                                          Programmer productivity for d) was far greater than for c)

                                          Takes a brave manager, though, and one who has trust in the programmers.

                                          David


                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                          > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
                                          > Brandon Campbell
                                          > Sent: Saturday, 16 July 2005 11:23 AM
                                          > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: Re: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > On 7/15/05, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:02:33 AM, Brandon Campbell wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > > For those of us that want to be a middle manager there
                                          > needs to be a
                                          > > project
                                          > > > manager bootcamp, yes we think that we have seen enough
                                          > projects and
                                          > > been on
                                          > > > enough projects that we can run a successful project,
                                          > but, and here's
                                          > > the
                                          > > > kicker, Being the Project Manager is always much harder
                                          > than you think
                                          > > it is
                                          > > > going to be. So we need a place to develop those skill
                                          > that we haven't
                                          > > > learned on the job, that other jobs learn.
                                          > >
                                          > > Thanks for posting this: it helped me figure out what was troubling
                                          > > me about this discussion.
                                          > >
                                          > > I used to think that it was necessary to know how to do a thing in
                                          > > order to know how to manage it. I now think that it isn't necessary,
                                          > > and might not even be desirable.
                                          > >
                                          > > The reason I used to think that, I speculate, is that I didn't know
                                          > > what management is. You've put your finger on that. Thanks!
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > You are welcome.
                                          >
                                          > I currently have the pleasure of working with a manager who
                                          > has never been a
                                          > developer. He understands that I know more about my job than
                                          > he does, but
                                          > it's not his job to know more about my job than I do, (his
                                          > words). Its his
                                          > job to help me understand the
                                          > projects/team/department/companies goals and
                                          > my role in the organization and then remove all the obstacles that I
                                          > encounter so that I can do the best job I can for the organization.
                                          >
                                          > It's been a good place to work so far.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Ron Jeffries
                                          > > www.XProgramming.com <http://www.XProgramming.com>
                                          > > Adapt, improvise, overcome.
                                          > > --Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Heartbreak Ridge)
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                          > >
                                          > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                          > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                          > >
                                          > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com <http://objectmentor.com>
                                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --
                                          > Brandon Campbell
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                          >
                                          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                          > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                          >
                                          > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Ron Jeffries
                                          ... Something along the lines of what Brandon said ... Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com He who will not apply new remedies must expect old evils. -- Francis
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                            On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 9:57:14 AM, SirGilligan wrote:

                                            > That was mean! ;-)

                                            > I might be suffereing from the same thing you used to have. And
                                            > you deny me the cure!

                                            > What IS management?

                                            Something along the lines of what Brandon said ...

                                            Ron Jeffries
                                            www.XProgramming.com
                                            He who will not apply new remedies must expect old evils. -- Francis Bacon
                                          • Ron Jeffries
                                            ... I thought your point was that managers who are not leaders don t get followed. Unless you mean that tautologically, I don t see how that view can be
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              On Friday, July 15, 2005, at 1:50:56 PM, Chris Wheeler wrote:

                                              > People follow leaders. They follow managers who are leaders. They rarely
                                              >> > follow those who aren't leaders.
                                              >>
                                              >> This, I think, might be a bit too simplistic ... unless it's
                                              >> intended as an operational definition of "manager" ... one whom
                                              >> people follow.


                                              > I've thought about this. Is it really too simplistic? Surely there have been
                                              > people that have managed you that you would never call a leader, yet I would
                                              > hazard a guess that you did as you were told when that person assigned a
                                              > task. And I'm sure that there were leaders who had no authority over you,
                                              > and yet you carried out that person's assignments too.

                                              > What's the difference? I think that 'doing what you are told' and 'following
                                              > a leader' are different things. Is there more to it?

                                              I thought your point was that managers who are not leaders don't get
                                              followed. Unless you mean that tautologically, I don't see how that
                                              view can be supported.

                                              Ron Jeffries
                                              www.XProgramming.com
                                              It is a bad plan that admits of no modifications. -- Publius Syrus (ca. 42 BCE)
                                            • Dale Emery
                                              Hi David, ... I think DeMarco and Lister write about that in Peopleware (based on the work of two other guys whose names I don t remember). Dale -- Dale Emery,
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jul 15, 2005
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                                                Hi David,

                                                > A number of years ago I read an article which surveyed a
                                                > number of projects and measured the productivity of the
                                                > programmers.

                                                I think DeMarco and Lister write about that in Peopleware (based
                                                on the work of two other guys whose names I don't remember).

                                                Dale

                                                --
                                                Dale Emery, Consultant
                                                Inspiring Leadership for Software People
                                                Web: http://www.dhemery.com
                                                Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd

                                                If killing was the answer, we'd have solved all our problems a
                                                long time ago. --Dick Gregory
                                              • Clark, David
                                                ... Ah, yes. Could well have been. I did read Peopleware about then. What I remember best about Peopleware is the phone being evil to creative people (mucks up
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jul 16, 2005
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                                  > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Dale Emery
                                                  > Sent: Saturday, 16 July 2005 4:40 PM
                                                  > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > Subject: Re: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi David,
                                                  >
                                                  > > A number of years ago I read an article which surveyed a
                                                  > > number of projects and measured the productivity of the
                                                  > > programmers.
                                                  >
                                                  > I think DeMarco and Lister write about that in Peopleware (based
                                                  > on the work of two other guys whose names I don't remember).
                                                  >
                                                  > Dale

                                                  Ah, yes. Could well have been.
                                                  I did read Peopleware about then.
                                                  What I remember best about Peopleware is the phone being evil to creative people (mucks up flow).
                                                  thanks,
                                                  David
                                                • Paul Sinnett
                                                  ... It was Michael Lawrence and Ross Jeffery. Their purpose was to prove or disprove the folklore theory that programmers work harder to meet their own
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jul 16, 2005
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Dale Emery wrote:
                                                    > Hi David,
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >>A number of years ago I read an article which surveyed a
                                                    >>number of projects and measured the productivity of the
                                                    >>programmers.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > I think DeMarco and Lister write about that in Peopleware (based
                                                    > on the work of two other guys whose names I don't remember).

                                                    It was Michael Lawrence and Ross Jeffery. Their purpose was to prove or
                                                    disprove the folklore theory that programmers work harder to meet their
                                                    own estimates. The results were not what they expected:

                                                    Estimator Productivity
                                                    ----------------------------
                                                    Supervisor 6.6
                                                    Supervisor + programmer 7.8
                                                    Programmer 8.0
                                                    Systems analyst 9.5
                                                    None 12.0

                                                    Note: this interpretation is from Peopleware, and might differ from the
                                                    study itself. The original is:

                                                    Jeffery, D. R., and M.J. Lawrence. "Managing Programmer Productivity."
                                                    Journal of Systems and Software, Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 1985)
                                                  • BenAveling
                                                    A leader is someone who has followers. A manager is the person who is responsible for everything that no-one else is responsible for. The rest is details.
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jul 17, 2005
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                                                      A leader is someone who has followers.

                                                      A manager is the person who is responsible for everything that no-one
                                                      else is responsible for.

                                                      The rest is details.

                                                      Regards, Ben
                                                    • Kent Beck
                                                      Alistair, You seem to me to be saying that sometimes there is more work than one person can do. My point was that in development, diversity of knowledge,
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Jul 20, 2005
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Alistair,

                                                        You seem to me to be saying that sometimes there is more work than one
                                                        person can do. My point was that in development, diversity of knowledge,
                                                        skill, and perspective is valuable. Everyone does not need to know
                                                        everything to work together productively. Site foremen may have done each
                                                        job at some time in the past. However, a site foreman will not be nearly as
                                                        smooth or efficient as the carpenter who does that job on a daily basis.

                                                        Kent Beck
                                                        Three Rivers Institute

                                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                                        > acockburn@...
                                                        > Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2005 5:22 PM
                                                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > Subject: [XP] Re: You cannot manage what you cannot do
                                                        >
                                                        > <<
                                                        > [Managers:] If they knew what I know, they wouldn't need me
                                                        > working for them.
                                                        > >>
                                                        >
                                                        > This is of course not true. I can indeed be capable of every
                                                        > aspect of what
                                                        > I'm trying to accomplish, but simply not have the time to
                                                        > tackle it all. Hence
                                                        > I hire people to do that, and put myself in the place of
                                                        > manager. I have
                                                        > personally done this in software development, and I suspect
                                                        > that pretty much
                                                        > every site foreman in the construction industry is in the
                                                        > same place. Very many
                                                        > team leads in the hardware/software industry are in this
                                                        > position, also.
                                                      • David Roberts
                                                        ... knowledge, ... each ... nearly ... basis. ... I agree with this, it s more about trust and forgiveness however a bit of overlap optimizes the
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Jul 20, 2005
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          > Alistair,
                                                          >
                                                          > You seem to me to be saying that sometimes there is more work than one
                                                          > person can do. My point was that in development, diversity of
                                                          knowledge,
                                                          > skill, and perspective is valuable. Everyone does not need to know
                                                          > everything to work together productively. Site foremen may have done
                                                          each
                                                          > job at some time in the past. However, a site foreman will not be
                                                          nearly
                                                          > as
                                                          > smooth or efficient as the carpenter who does that job on a daily
                                                          basis.
                                                          >
                                                          > Kent Beck
                                                          > Three Rivers Institute

                                                          I agree with this, it's more about trust and forgiveness however a bit
                                                          of overlap optimizes the relationships. I forget who wrote it, but
                                                          "generalists with specialties" works well.

                                                          David Roberts
                                                          InnovaSystems Intl
                                                          (619) 955-5864
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