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Re: [XP] [ANN] Managers and Minions or Talent and Admins

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  • Steve Ropa
    I would agree with your assessment. I would argue that its part of ³growing up² as a company though. Some of the controls become necessary to satisfy the
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 27, 2008
      I would agree with your assessment. I would argue that its part of ³growing
      up² as a company though. Some of the controls become necessary to satisfy
      the investors. Its ugly, but its true. Now, you also put the
      Sarbanes-Oxley monster into the mix. Then there¹s the problem that the
      founder/owner ends up having to be in a hundred places at once. Happily,
      most of the experiences I¹ve had have been that the folks who started
      working directly with the founder/owner are still able to, they just end up
      having others reporting to them.

      We can be truly Agile even within these management structures. The trick,
      and its hard, is to make sure to stay dedicated to that, and to make sure
      your leadership stays dedicated to it as a mind-set. As you say, the
      challenge is in the transition. I just started as development director at a
      company that has had less success then they¹d like in that transition. The
      gentleman who hired me said that the reason he chose me is that he wants me
      to help them turn that around. Here¹s hoping!


      On 6/26/08 5:59 AM, "Cory Foy" <usergroup@...> wrote:

      > Steve Ropa wrote:
      >> > There is a reason these management structures tend to occur, and I have
      >> seen
      >> > it happen organically more often than not. They result from someone
      >> > identifying and filling a need. I¹ve never seen anyone say ³hey I¹ve got a
      >> > great idea for a new product and company. Lets go find some managers!²
      >> > Once the great idea starts to get developed, starts to build a following,
      >> > and the company starts to grow, someone might say ³I¹m having trouble
      >> making
      >> > sure all those talented programmers are happy and motivated, and also to
      >> > make sure we are complying with regulations that are important in our
      >> > industry. Oh, and someone to deal with the fact that Frankie and Johnny
      >> > just can¹t get along. Oh, not to mention I have to have financial
      >> forecasts
      >> > to satisfy the VC.²
      > I've seen this several times with companies moving from a "start-up" to
      > being a "small (or medium) company". It's unfortunate that the cases
      > I've seen weren't more agile in their approach to doing this, since it
      > seems like the cases I've seen, the following happens. The people who
      > have been there and were used to working directly with the product owner
      > (usually the founder/owner) now find themselves reporting to someone.
      > Multiple controls start being put into place. Change Control.
      > Documentation requirements. Meetings. Having to schedule meetings to get
      > some of the Owner's time instead of just popping over. Reviews.
      > Promotions. Raises. Purchase Orders. Approval of Purchase Orders.
      > Suddenly the productivity drops, and the new managers impose more
      > controls in an effort to stabilize the situation. The owner, now very
      > busy with funding efforts and marketing efforts, has no idea that both
      > productivity and satisfaction (and likely quality as well) has now
      > dropped significantly.
      > Companies that survive seem to find a way to fix this. But it seems that
      > if we could find a less extreme way to do that transition (perhaps
      > guided by a mix of managers, admins and talents) life would be easier
      > during the move.

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