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The IT Contract From Hell

Ethical issues in IT.
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The IT Contract From Hell

Postby SQLDenis on Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:07 pm

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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby Remou on Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:39 pm

It is and work safe*! :D


* As long as you can spare the time for an addictive read.
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby ThatRickGuy on Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:53 pm

Hah! Nice read!

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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby LNBruno on Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:58 pm

I don't get it. Sounds like every contract I ever had. :D
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby kaht on Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:33 pm

Funny stuff.
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby tarwn on Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:25 pm

Some of that felt very familiar...

Makes me wish i had been keeping up with my own project on a more regular basis...I could publish a whole book :P

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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby Thirster42 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:52 pm

If the money was good I'd sit there and stare out the window for 3 months.
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby chrissie1 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:11 pm

Thirster42 wrote:If the money was good I'd sit there and stare out the window for 3 months.


My kind of man (or woman).
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby Thirster42 on Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:44 pm

chrissie1 wrote:
Thirster42 wrote:If the money was good I'd sit there and stare out the window for 3 months.


My kind of man (or woman).


I'm a guy.

When I did my internship for dss I mostly just sat there and played sudoku becasue they didn't have anything for me to do. My last couple of weeks was helping someone clean up some access databases (which were HORRIBLE!).

So yeah, I could do that.

Honestly its that company's fault for wasting money by having a bad it manager that doesn't know anything about it. Why would you waste money on a contractor if that freaking manager isn't going to let him do anything?
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby Emtucifor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:28 pm

Thirster42 wrote:Why would you waste money on a contractor if that freaking manager isn't going to let him do anything?

Because organizations are systems that emerge as a gestalt of each individual's intentions, rather than structures defined and extended outward by those in power...

Read Ten Myths About Organisations and Leadership - I found it not only idly fascinating, but also it was a sort of strange compelling call to some core self part of me to try to change my organization, the management of which is obviously fooled by many of the myths.
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby ThatRickGuy on Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:24 pm

A nice read. I'm not 100% sold on it though.

The vast majority of people in this world follow the path of least resistance. The approach their job (or anything for that mater) in a way that will allow them to accomplish the most with the least effort. That means resisting change, ignoring distractions, and avoiding anything that will alter their perceived course of least effort.

That said, I think there are patterns that emerge in social interactions, and that skilled interpersonal managers will be able to identify those patterns and be able to use them to redefine the path of least resistance. Not quite so optimistic as Myth #7, but not so pessimistic as Reality #7.

And #5 I think is oddly worded. Delegating work closer to the Micro Management level as opposed to more vague forward thinking isn't "leadership". It will take both kinds of management to get a large and complex group of socially diverse people to accomplish a goal. If a senior board member is spending time micro managing their employees, or a mid-level manager is spending more time dreaming up a direction for the department than reviewing purchasing requests, the problem isn't their "leadership", the problem is that they are not in a position that strongly suits their desired skill set.

I would agree with his #4, but you have to start somewhere. Sure, if you stick all of your employees in the playground for long enough, eventually someone will be the king of the jungle gym, someone will be the highest swinger, and someone will manage to walk up the slide. But most organizations aren't going to sit around waiting for those patterns to emerge. It is much more likely that given a starting structure, and a significant amount of flexibility the initial structure can be changed to match the social structure, but that involves change, which goes against the path of least resistance.

Over all, I think the guy is a bit pessimistic of the ability of good leaders to manipulate social interactions the the benefit of the organization. And at the same time, I think the original authors that he is quoting are largely out of touch with the workforce and may indeed have a rod up their collective buttocks.

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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby Emtucifor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:38 pm

I agree he may not be perfectly right. I also think that the Reality part is not necessarily the final word, it is more descriptive than prescriptive. From the Reality rebuttal extends a path toward an action which takes all into consideration.

Like for #4. I don't believe he's just saying that since the result is nondeterministic, you can't do anything about the outcome. What he IS saying is that nothing is truly a simple top-down power result (see myth 6) but that change in an organization (which is an implied part of those in power trying to design and manage an organization) depends also on the individual people. Just like arbitrary use of power can result in lessened power, trying to design one's organization in a way that the people resist will damage one's ability to design the organization, by reducing the influence of the leadership.

One implication for me is that dealing with people on an individual level can be more effective than just passing more policies and trying to screw down the rules tighter and tighter on people. Dealing with the individual may be: repairing lacking competence, moving a person into a core area of competence so his weaknesses don't matter, attempting to make change at the value/belief level instead of just the behavior level, hiring someone new, firing someone who isn't right for the organization. Hey, sometimes you just don't have the right people to have the right organization. Or maybe those people can be reintegrated one at a time into a new system, whereas trying to get them all on board hits up against some group thinking and entrenched ideas at the system level.
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Re: The IT Contract From Hell

Postby tomsa on Mon May 23, 2011 5:47 am

It is nice reading! GOOD title also!!! :D
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