THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: December 28, 1996 02:58 PM Saturday;
Morris Jones suggested idea for "metric" report to management.
2...What's a Metric
3...Communication Manager Diplomat Raise Issues Not Temperatures
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0201 - Chips & Tech. 408 434 0600
020101 - Mr. Morris E. Jones
020102 - Sr. Vice President =4283 Ext
Increase Budget, Port of Oakland
Tom Keesling, Modify Welch Contract
Facilitate Meetings, Use SDS Record
Errors Require Psychological Buffer
Raise Issues Not Temperatures
Accountability is Burdensom Metric for
Feel Good Management Supresses Conflict,
Finger Pointing Calculate Cost Savings
Numerical Equations Not Available to Calculate How Human Mind Convert
2712 - ..
2713 - Summary/Objective
271401 - Follow up ref SDS 31 line 71, ref SDS 29 line 76.
271403 - I mentioned the turn of events at COE seemingly arising from key
271404 - people being on vacation, and matters being addressed by executives
271405 - who are not versed in the details of the decision, in this case the
271406 - Communication Metrics effort.
271408 - [See follow up discussion with Tom Keesling where he thinks this
271409 - decision was taken in similar fashion to the RFP #19 matter where
271410 - people simply were taken in a direction by the inertia of the
271411 - moment and there was no personal experience to guide them
271412 - differently, ref SDS 33 line 101.]
271415 - ..
271416 - What's a Metric
271418 - Morris suggested that it might be useful to submit a report each month
271419 - showing the number of problems solved using Communication Metrics, so
271420 - it is easier for those not directly involved to grasp the contribution
271421 - of Communication Metrics, per our discussion on 950223, ref SDS 3 line
271422 - 318.
271424 - ..
271425 - Initially, I explained my sense that COE wants the problems solved,
271426 - not a report of what was solved. Morris has previously raised the
271427 - idea of a report to correlate with conventional management practice,
271428 - ref SDS 4 line 175 and at ref SDS 3 line 286.
271430 - ..
271431 - Upon reflection, from a marketing perspective this has pluses but also
271432 - some minuses.
271434 - ..
271435 - A report like Morris suggests would enable those not directly involved
271436 - to better understand the contribution of the Communication Manager. I
271437 - notice that the accountant does not submit a report at the end of the
271438 - month showing the number of mistakes fixed as a result of performing
271439 - his craft; rather it is assumed that performing careful accounting
271440 - avoids a lot of mistakes. Similarly, the architect does not submit
271441 - such a report of the number of mistakes the design effort avoids by
271442 - performing a correct design. A doctor does not submit a report
271443 - showing the number of lives saved or other mistakes avoided, etc.
271445 - ..
271446 - Never-the-less, for marketing purposes to introduce Communication
271447 - Metrics, maybe we need to list the mistakes and opportunities
271448 - discovered as a result of the Communication Manger performing this new
271449 - craft. Generally this relates to links in the records, since links
271450 - are make to show alignment that is either consistent showing no
271451 - mistake was made, or conflicts, showing emerging mistake beginning to
271452 - take root.
271455 - ..
271456 - Communication Manager Diplomat Raise Issues Not Temperatures
271458 - The downside, however, is that reporting on mistakes and missed
271459 - opportunities, risks alienating the very people we seek to help by
271460 - improving their productivity, as seemed to occur on the Broadwater
271461 - project on 920110. ref SDS 1 4839 and 920128. ref SDS 2 3354
271463 - [See example from discusson with HQ USACE on 971017, ref SDS 36
271464 - 3428, ref SDS 36 0230.]
271466 - ..
271467 - [On 980405 Bill DeHart reported that managers fear accountability
271468 - ref SDS 37 5065,]
271470 - ..
271471 - A conscious effort is made to ensure that other people are credited
271472 - with discovery and the proper disposition of matters. A report of
271473 - mistakes fixed and opportunities discovered ordinarily spawns the
271474 - inquiry of why so many mistakes and why so many opportunities are
271475 - being overlooked. Of course this is addressed in Communication
271476 - Metrics theory that busy executives on the Information Highway are
271477 - wired to overlook things, while SDS is a "microscope" that magnifies
271478 - awareness of critical nuance, correlations and implications. It is
271479 - not clear at this time that executives have grasped either of these
271480 - conditions in sufficient degree to overcome the impulse to deny react
271481 - emotionally.
271482 - ..
271483 - An example is the recent situation with RFP #19, ref SDS 26
271484 - 5790. To set this out as an example of SDS at work, risks harming,
271485 - embarassing, and thereon alienating the folks involved.
271487 - ..
271488 - Another example is the NSL matter per meeting at ref SDS 12 4395.
271490 - ..
271491 - One can argue that Communication Metrics provides benefits to the
271492 - practicing executive that are comparable to an architect assisting
271493 - the carpenter in applying the most agreeable alignment of daily
271494 - tasks. But that argument has not yet achieved the cultural
271495 - ballast of thousands of years where people have gotten used to and
271496 - indeed expect the architect to assist the carpenter in aligning
271497 - the work.
271499 - ..
271500 - As Lynn Conway explained the challenge is to get people to accept
271501 - methods that are non-standard as essential and necessary without
271502 - pointing fingers at anyone, ref SDS 5 1368.
271503 - ..
271504 - If Morris received a report from the SDS record showing all of
271505 - the instances where contraditions, reversals and conflicts occurred,
271506 - would this improve his feeling about having a Communication Manager
271507 - hanging around. Indeed, most executives prefer to simply buy off
271508 - their mistakes, until and unless a method can be devised to get them
271509 - corrected without drawing attention to them. This is the idea of the
271510 - Communication Manager.
271512 - [See follow up where Morris raises again the idea of a numerical
271513 - report from the SDS record showing communication mistakes, ref
271514 - SDS 32 0335 and ref SDS 35 5992.]
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