PermaLink Some days it's just nice03/26/2008 09:52 PM
Some days, it's just nice to sit and think about new stuff.  I spent today sketching out a new change-control system we could deploy in about a day.  Nothing huge and fancy, but a heck of a lot more usable than stuff we were shown last week.  Something we can live with.

Right now it's late, and I'm watching the "panic! at the roller disco" scene toward the end of one of Charles Bronson's Death Wish movies. The first one or two of the series were fun to watch, but after a while the whole series got tired. It was obvious Bronson was getting older and less suited toward running around shooting the shit out of everything. I liked Mr. Majestyk, which was definitely fun to watch. Ford used outtakes from that movie for years to show how "tough" Ford pickups were when you abused them all to hell.

But about "change control." Realistically, the whole phrase is illustrative about how confused "management" can get. You don't "control" change. The only real control you can exert is to stop it entirely, and then sit and wait while your users desert you for something that changes. The real goal with change is to steer it. Guide it toward what's the best for the most people, and away from niches that might be favored by a vocal few but which will give the majority of users severe diahrrea. Toward "good" change and away from "bad" change. And over the years, I've seen pretty consistently that "management" doesn't know the difference, but the engineers do. A lot of people in "management" get the idea that they know better than the engineers because, well, they wouldn't have been placed in a position "over" the engineers if they didn't know better, right?

Not really. In too many organizations, the people who end up in "management" are merely the ones who like to tell others what to do, not the ones who are best able to to do it. They're often the people who just weren't doing anything particularly critical at the moment, so they were pulled into "management." The people who actually had it on the ball were too important to be taken out of their line of work.

Does it seem like I rag on this topic too much? Sometimes I probably do. I am a big fan of flat, peer-driven organizations with a focus on results, not process, and I suppose my personal choice to stay in an organization that does exactly the opposite gives me a lame excuse to keep complaining, on the equally-lame assumption that I can do nothing about it all.

Well, maybe I can, and maybe I can't. But I know what I'm best at, and telling other people what to do and mismanaging change are not my finer skills.

You gotta know your limits.

Sorta like Charles Bronson.

Except he gets to blow people up with grenade launchers. I just get to write about them.

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1. Glen03/31/2008 11:03:24 PM

You say; "... You don't "control" change. The real goal with change is to steer it. Toward "good" change and away from "bad" change ..."management" doesn't know the difference, but the engineers do. "

But I say the real purpose of "change control" is to prevent the "manager wannabe an engineer" from messing up the whole works.

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