There is a software delivery model "Scrum". The primary hypothesis for this model is that people are responsible individuals. They can manage and lead themselves and don't necessarily need someone telling them exacly what needs to be done.
In my project we have been following this model for sometime now. It was never questioned, untill recently. Sometime back I was asked who leads the team, in short, who should we blame if something goes wrong. The answer "we all are" does not seem satisfactory. Someone should be, there should be one person accountable, responsible... blaimable, I am told. And then there were a ton of reports to be maintained, shared. To show that we are working diligently. Name one person, don't you dare say 'Scrum team'.... there has to be a way to tweak things... a bit...
It used to annoy me untill recently...
I was living in a utopian world, believing that people are responsible by default. You ruin them by managing them. I could never really understand the need for control.
I like to believe that everyone is good, responsible, careful... And hence, everything would fall into right place. But, what if this belief does not work, even for one person? Ideally, you should be able to counsel, mentor, make someone realize the importance of sincerity. What if it doesn't work? What if someone is just not capable? Despite trying, someone is not able to pull through? There are several ways, an employee cannot deliver the ideal, expected result. Are we capable enough to handle this? In an environment, where we work on minimum costs, and on no extra labor, do we have the expertise to handle soft-needs? We like to say that we work for 9 hours, do we actually work for 9 hours, all round the year?
There are several people who know that company would not fire them, unless they screw something really badly. Being incompetent or lazy ain't reasons enough to lose your job. So, some would not wake from their slumber at all, and hence, someone else would shoulder all the responsibility. Does the idea of Utopian world remain valid then? And it is not specific to any one company or project. It is the truth of Software Industry all over India. I have not seen any company laying of people at any point in India. Does it mean all employees are good? I have seen hopeless people being entertained, knowing that they are not doing anything. Because, client is billing for their presence? And because we hate being the bad guy and saying, 'You are not doing anything'. I have seen some poor souls being slaughtered to work. Does the idea of Utopia work then?
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