THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: December 21, 1991 05:45 PM Saturday;
Notes on discussion with Morris re Chips, destroying records.
2...Cooked the Books to Make Bad Management Look Good
3...Feel Good Management Conceals Problems Prevents Timely Correction
4...Scope Creep Delays Schedule Increases Costs Defers Revenues
5...Intends to Destroy Records
.....Feel Good Management
...........To keep people feeling good about themselves may require
........Change Needs Leadership with Broader Vision
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Legal Restraints on Saving Record
Diary record to increase understanding
Discovery, Strategic Resource
Feel Good Management - Social Constraints
Context Traceability Support Understanding
Complexity Frustrating Documents Meetings Listening Capturing Organiz
Proactive Problem Handling Intelligence Discover Opportunities Not Wr
Cooked Books Need SDS Proactive Problem Handling Bookkeeping Double E
Conventional Management Uses Feel Good Practices Rather than Good Man
2011 - ..
2012 - Summary/Objective
201301 - Follow up ref SDS 1 0001.
201303 - The poor economy has impacted Chips and Technologies, requiring Morris
201304 - to devote a lot of time to downsizing. Reviewed policies becoming
201305 - common for organizations to destroy intellectual capital in order to
201306 - avoid accountability. ref SDS 0 WD6J
201310 - ..
2016 - Progress
201701 - ..
201702 - Cooked the Books to Make Bad Management Look Good
201703 - Feel Good Management Conceals Problems Prevents Timely Correction
201705 - Morris said Chips is downsizing by 20%.
201707 - He is now in charge of a commitee of 5 people to recommend projects
201708 - and staff to terminate. They are to report to the president evidently
201709 - after the first of the year with recommendations. Actually, the new
201710 - buzzword is "rightsizing!"
201712 - ..
201713 - Accounting and marketing data turned out to be incorrect because some
201714 - executives "cooked the books" to make bad management look good. We
201715 - did not discuss how this correlates to industry practice of relying on
201716 - "feel good" management, discussed on 911123. ref SDS 1 1331
201718 - ..
201719 - Morris and his team are trying to assemble good data to determine the
201720 - direction to take the company.
201723 - ..
201724 - Scope Creep Delays Schedule Increases Costs Defers Revenues
201726 - Morris described a problem driving up costs and delay getting products
201727 - to market to produce revenue has been "scope creep."
201729 - ..
201730 - Marketing keeps asking for more features to keep Chips' products
201731 - competitive, and avoid negative presss reviews on feature comparisons,
201732 - The sales staff says they will not be able to make sales if Chips does
201733 - not keep up with market trends. Engineering adds to scope creep when
201734 - one project asks another to add support for future improvements.
201735 - Morris and his team are trying to identify projects that are
201736 - hopelessly over budget, and those that have the best chance of
201737 - generating revenue. They are trying to reduce scope creep in order to
201738 - shorten time to market, and get the company in the black.
201740 - [On 920215 downsizing problem greater than expected.
201741 - ref SDS 2 HJ8G
201743 - ..
201744 - [On 950412 scope creep delayed release of Primavera schedule
201745 - software update, ref SDS 3 GF45; discussed with Morris.
201746 - ref SDS 3 0U4O
201748 - ..
201749 - [On 951221 scope creep explained as "pile on the features"
201750 - without thinking about affecting the core objective of the
201751 - program; this creates an unwieldy collection of modules, and
201752 - nobody understands how they interact. ref SDS 6 0221
201754 - ..
201755 - [On 970525 scope creep common in defense contracting, reported
201756 - by article. ref SDS 7 946T
201758 - ..
201759 - [On 980613 article on avoiding scope creep bringing engineering
201760 - and marketing together. ref SDS 8 5208
201762 - ..
201763 - [On 001130 IBM difficulty converting Lotus Notes into Knowledge
201764 - Management software because scope creep made the program too
201765 - complex to understand. ref SDS 9 YH66
201767 - ..
201768 - [On 011109 similar experience at Enron. ref SDS 10 00DN
201770 - ..
201771 - Morris was not real enthusiastic this evening. He feels Chips
201772 - management has not been well served by staff, who have held back, and
201773 - in some cases not provided good data on costs, schedule, and revenues,
201774 - per above. ref SDS 0 C38U
201776 - ..
201777 - We considered that people and management problems permeate all human
201778 - endeavors. Bad news simply does not travel North. Often it is not
201779 - really apparent to inexperienced managers. You have to be proactive
201780 - and "dig it out" of the system. You have to be proactive, and this
201781 - does not "feel good" to people.
201783 - ..
201784 - [On 91123 "Feel Good" management cited by Morris at ref SDS 1 1331
201785 - -- see also below for published material.
201787 - ..
201788 - [On 950705 disaffection with Project Managers, ref SDS 4 2955, led
201789 - to interest in automating Action Items. ref SDS 4 7409
201791 - ..
201792 - [On 951011 report that in 1989 Chips won awards for outstanding
201793 - financial management, ref SDS 5 5008
201797 - ..
201798 - Intends to Destroy Records
201800 - Follow up ref SDS 1 8934.
201802 - Morris expects the company will destroy the records of the analysis
201803 - for planning reengineering of the organization about 4 days after his
201804 - assignment is complete.
201806 - ..
201807 - This implements the management philosophy of destroying intellectual
201808 - captial, i.e., knoweldge and ideas, contrary to concepts of POIMS,
201809 - which Morris mentioned on 911123. ref SDS 1 8934.
201811 - ..
201812 - Various project managers are trying to get his attention to explain
201813 - the value of keeping particular projects and staff. Morris feels a
201814 - lot of pressure to figure out what is best for the company. He is
201815 - busy with finishing their new chip, and now he has to figure out how
201816 - to organize the company to be profitable. This leaves little time for
201817 - him to consider if his analysis tools are adequate or can be signi-
201818 - ficantly improved with SDS.
201821 - ..
201822 - Feel Good Management
201824 - I wonder if more "discovery" of problems, opportunities, ideas and
201825 - complex, subtle facts might have enabled the people and projects
201826 - being terminated at Chips to have done a better job for themselves
201827 - and the company. The concept of "Feel Good" management fails
201828 - because it covers up both problems and opportunities in order to
201829 - avoid small disappointments to spare feelings, yet eventually
201830 - leads to much greater pain and calamity.
201832 - ..
201833 - There must be a better answer?
201836 - ..
201837 - Managerial Mystique
201839 - Abraham Zaleznik has written this book originally
201840 - published by Harper & Row, 1989, which states on page 278:
201842 - To keep people feeling good about themselves may require
201843 - that the status quo be maintained. However, maintaining the
201844 - status quo may leave problems unsolved, prevent growth, and
201845 - lead to crisis.
201847 - This dilemma is easily solved in times of crisis, when it is
201848 - clear that survival depends on action and change, particu-
201849 - larly where the leadership is new to the situation and is
201850 - not identified with the causes of the criss. But, unfortun-
201851 - ately, by the time a corporation's symptoms are evident, the
201852 - illness is so far gone that a cure may be difficult, if not
201853 - impossible, to achieve
201855 - ..
201856 - Leaders must be critics rather than cheerleaders, yet their
201857 - critical stance must avoid negativism. To be critical and
201858 - positive is to be substantive. Therefore, leadrs have to
201859 - lead in the content and direction of change. To be a critic
201860 - and merely the convener of process will depress subordinates
201861 - and make them anxious.
201864 - ..
201865 - Change Needs Leadership with Broader Vision
201867 - This last prescription is no guarentee of success in leader-
201868 - ship. People will feel threatened by "change" when they are
201869 - unable to recognize that a "crisis" exists and will as a result
201870 - resist and even undermine the efforts to change in order to
201871 - preserve their position, access to power, self image and other
201872 - lessor needs. Such are the imperatives of "feel good" manage-
201873 - ment. The challenge of leadership is to implement change in
201874 - order to avoid "crisis" because when crisis occurs there is no
201875 - time for training and transitioning. People are frozen by
201876 - common sense to apply what they already know.
201880 - ..
201881 - I asked Morris if he has done a CPM on the tasks, schedule, assign-
201882 - ments and correlation of executive perspectives on this downsizing
201883 - project? He seemed not to see the need for this step, though I am not
201884 - sure if he appreciated the thrust of my inquiry.
201887 - ..
201888 - Looks like we will not be able to get together while I am here the
201889 - next two weeks. He is very busy at work and when he is not busy at
201890 - work, there is a full slate of family matters and church.
201892 - ..
201893 - It is hard to see how we will ever be able to spend enough time
201894 - together to do anything interesting with SDS.