Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Intangible Mist Management Mystery

Being able to explain Agile is one thing, being able to explain it in terms which people think they understand while you're explaining it, but later cannot quite put their finger on, is the ultimate aim. Essentially, this skill will allow you to bully people to agree with you, without realising it, as you will claim that everything is common sense. The result will be that they have an increased need for you, as their understanding is proportional to how recently you last explained it all.

However, there is an additional benefit of surrounding your process in a mist of semi-understanding. This relates to how much management are in control and how much the middle management can be used to undermine themselves, once they've attempted to buy into your scheme.

If Management Understand You
Then they will be able to effectively argue against you and see the holes in your scheme. They will also be able to predict where the scheme is headed - off the edge of the nearest cliff.

If Middle-Managament Understand You
They will feel on top of the changes and will also be able to steer them away from the edge of the cliff. They will be able to take ownership of the process... away from you.

If Management Don't Understand You
They will find everything you say an interesting mystery and have to go on blind faith that your promises of the world will come to fruition.

If Middle-Management Don't Understand You
They will be unable to implement anything you suggest without you. They will start to resent you and will start to resist, which can be used an ammunition against any show of strength on their part.

If Both Middle-Management and Upper Management Don't Understand You
Then they won't understand each other. All the counter-intuitive suggestions you have made will create barrow-loads of disagreement which only you can resolve by adding more words for people to consider.

In this scenario, should upper and middle management ever get together without you to discuss the project, they will always be at cross purposes. Plus, if middle-management have the best of intentions and try to explain the way the project is likely to run positively, it will look terrible as their estimates will defy common sense and their explanations for why will seem ridiculous. Conversely, if middle-management are against the idea and try to explain why, they will seem to be just resentful and backstabbing, rather than advising management away from the cliff-edge it has reached.

The Intangible Mist
Explanations which are full of buzzwords, especially in Japanese, cannot be held in the memory and will simply appear to make sense, rather than being part of a coherent, strong, strategy. People will remember the vague ideas and the very tangible benefits those ideas claim to offer. They will not remember the explanation for how the counter-intuitive actions they have to take will result in those targets. They will nearly remember. This is the mist. Use it wisely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info
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6:22 PM  

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