Thursday, 1 May 2003

Motivation and deadlines...

There seems to me (working in the Information Technology industry) that business customers get promised by management a delivery date, and then management want deadlines to be met. And if deadlines for delivery of code or functionality are not met, then accountability falls upon the developer / worker. But at the other end of the scale, authority and major decision making are still the domain of the management.

How is the IT worker supposed to remain motivated in the current climate of layoffs and pay cuts to meet deadlines?

My solution is simple (well it is to me I guess)...
  1. Reverse the chain of command and decision making. The developer / worker makes the decisions, and management supports those decisions and MAKES THEM HAPPEN. Therefore management is the one accountable of what they promise to the business customer, and since the developer is working with the technology, they make the crucial decisions.
  2. Give people work that they want to do. Most people are happy putting many hours into something they are interested in. This will lead to more motivation, and more effort placed into the product simply because that person is interested in its development.
  3. Remove deadlines. Or don't over emphasis them. Some people do perform better under pressure, but most people will come up with better solutions in their own time.
  4. Pay more money. If you can't delivery on point #1, #2, or #3 then pay WELL. This is most likely the motivational factor for many people in the IT industry today.
If you think this solution looks familiar, you most probably thinking of the open source development model. I think it is a good start, and I may have customized more, but these are JUST my opinions.

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