Productivity! What Is It All About
Productivity is one of the phenomenon talked about much, practiced and yet there is a lot for improvement. Organizations/groups complaining less productivity know that organizations with higher productivity doesn’t use very advanced technologies.
Their better performance can be explained entirely by their more effective ways of handling people, modifying the workplace and corporate culture. All the measures to increase efficiency or productivity account for measures that take longer time periods to be effective which becomes discouraging for organizations. Every organization wants some miracle to happen that some consultant comes and turn over everything but of course it did not happen that reminds me of the phrase “Easy non-solutions are often more attractive than hard solutions”.
Some of the false hopes include:
- Some managers are getting more than hundred percent gains or more! Forget it. The typical magical tool is focused on the coding and testing part of the life cycle. But even if coding and testing went away entirely, you couldn’t expect a gain of one hundred percent J There is still all the analysis, negotiation, specification, training, acceptance testing, conversion, and cutover to be done.
- Changing languages will give you huge gains. Languages are important because they affect the way you think about a problem, but again, they can have impact only on the implementation part of the project. Sure, it may be better to do a new application in PowerBuilder™, for example, but even before PowerBuilder, there were better ways. Unless you’ve been asleep at the switch for the past few decades, change of a language won’t do much for you.
- You automate everything else; isn’t it about time you automated away your software development staff? This is another variation of the high-tech illusion, the belief that software developers do easily automatable work. Their principal work is human communication to organize the users’ expressions of needs into formal procedure. That work will be necessary no matter how we change the life cycle. And it’s not likely to be automated.
- Your people will work better if you put them under a lot of pressure. They won’t—they’ll just enjoy it less. So far, all this is rather negative. If leaning on people is counterproductive, and installing the latest technological doodad won’t help much either, then what is the manager supposed to do? This Is Management
Let me quote Sharon Weinberg as an example for Managers as quoted by one of the developers:
“In my early years as a developer, I was privileged to work on a project managed by Sharon Weinberg, now president of the Codd and Date Consulting Group. She was a walking example of much of what I now think of as enlightened management. One snowy day, I dragged myself out of a sickbed to pull together our shaky system for a user demo. Sharon came in and found me propped up at the console. She disappeared and came back a few minutes later with a container of soup.
After she’d poured it into me and buoyed up my spirits, I asked her how she found time for such things with all the management work she had to do. She gave me her patented grin and said, Tom, this is management.”
Sharon knew what all good instinctive managers know: The manager’s function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work.