RE: 60 Hours per Week at Level 1 Process Maturity

Subject: RE: 60 Hours per Week at Level 1 Process Maturity
From: "Nancy Smith" <smithcds -at- ici -dot- net>
To: "'Andrew Plato'" <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 11:20:28 -0400

Perhaps the person who said that the Process
Maturity Level and the worker's personality need to
match is correct. I know to avoid ads that
emphasize the togetherness of "We work hard. We play
hard." Those are code words for belonging to the
company just as much as coal miners used to belong
to "the company store."

I've been in that kind of company -- they hired
young folks at low wages, worked them hard,
organized softball and soccer games, and fed them
beer and pizza, etc.

I watched them come in hung over. I heard them
complain about no love life. (A few did meet and
marry in the company.) Most of them eventually left
for more money -- shocked at how MUCH more they were
offered at the new company.

But, IMO, they had learned the wrong lessons about

The division manager actually asked us for our souls
(at least for a week-long division meeting) as well
as our minds and bodies. In my personal value
system, that is immoral.

It is also unnecessary to running a profitable

If I got OT, I apologize.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On
Behalf Of Andrew
> Plato
> Sent: Friday, September 03, 1999 1:51 PM
> Subject: RE: 60 Hours per Week at Level 1 Process
> **Reposting - since something went awry last
night. Sorry
> for any dupes.**
> > It has been my observation that, within the
> industry, the average
> > total hours worked per week is inversely related
to the
> organizations
> > Process Maturity Level. That is, as the Process
> Level decreases
> > (moving from 5 to 0), the avg number of hours
> increases. Has this
> > been your experience also?
> Yes, this is true, but not for the reasons you are
alluding to. As
> organizations become more "organized" there is
less responsibility and
> therefore people work less. Mostly, there is less
urgency to
> actually get
> anything done. Once an organization is entrenched
in an
> industry it has the
> freedom to be bureaucratic and lazy. Companies
with millions
> in the bank can
> afford to develop intricate process models.
> Less "mature" organizations do not have the luxury
of money
> and time and
> therefore everything must be done immediately and
by a
> smaller number of
> people. Thus those people must work more and are
> more productive.
> What I suspect you are alluding to with your
comment is the
> notion: "to reduce
> work load and have happier more productive people,
> more efficient
> process models"
> Yes, if you develop efficient process models, you
will reduce
> work load. But
> you will not become a more productive or
> organization. Efficiency
> does not always equal productivity. In software
> efficiency
> actually can be detrimental to productivity.
Here's why...
> Productivity is the capability for an organization
to produce
> tangible assets
> or make money. The more cars that Ford can ram
out of a
> factory in a day, the
> more productive Ford is and subsequently the more
money they
> can potentially
> make. However in the software industry,
productivity is not
> measured in terms
> of ramming out code. The process of ramming code
out and
> pressing CDs is almost
> inconsequential to having the best designs, best
engineering, and most
> revolutionary products.
> Imagine if Ford had to retool the assembly line
each time a
> new car was
> produced. They would go broke in a day. In high
tech, the
> physical production
> of product is nothing. It comprises a tiny bit of
the cost to
> bring a product
> to market. As the saying goes, the first copy of
Windows 95
> cost Microsoft 100
> million, but each copy after that was pure profit.
> Therefore, in high-tech the ability to produce new
> (tangible assets)
> in an organized and efficient manner is almost
> Brain power is the
> critical component. The brain power to create new
things and
> design good
> products makes high-tech companies rich and
> (Militant marketing Borg
> don't hurt either.)
> When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sat down to
build the first
> Apples, they did
> not have a mature process model. I don't think
they had a
> process model at all.
> They tinkered and fiddled until they designed
something cool.
> Likewise, when
> the guys who started E-Bay first built the site -
they did
> not have a frickin'
> clue what they were doing. They just did
something that
> caught on and made
> them all flippin' zillionares.
> In other words, you cannot plan for genius on a
Gantt chart.
> Efficiency gives the illusion of productivity.
Slapping a
> metric on a process
> and producing a slick looking PowerPoint graph may
> productive and useful,
> but it does not add true value to an organization.
> So, making an organization more efficient may
> workload, but it does not
> mean things will become more productive. I think
where many
> companies go wrong
> is they assume that if they develop some exquisite
> model, money will
> start flowing from every orifice. This is simply
not the
> case. There are
> infinite examples of companies with great process
models who
> are filing for
> Chapter 11.
> Case in point - Iridium. Boy - you should see the
> crap this company
> did. They had everything pegged down to the number
of Cokes
> the support reps
> could drink. Guess what - did that make anyone
buy those
> ridiculous phones?
> No. This company went broke finding efficiency in
a market
> that did not exist.
> Therefore, if you are pushing your boss to develop
> sounding process models
> - don't delude yourself (or the boss). You're not
> things better, you're
> just making things more organized and trying to
work less.
> Process models do
> not make companies richer, people more fulfilled,
or products
> better. Only
> hard-work and good engineering can do that.
> Andrew Plato
> President / Principal Consultant
> Anitian Consulting, Inc.
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