Joel on Command and Control Management

, Aug 8, 2006

It just happens that after a discussion today, I just have to link to this particular paragraph:

In software development teams everybody is working on something else, so attempts to micromanage turn into hit and run micromanagement. That’s where you micromanage one developer in a spurt of activity and then suddenly disappear from that developer’s life for a couple of weeks while you run around micromanaging other developers. The problem with hit and run micromanagement is that you don’t stick around long enough to see why your decisions are not working or to correct course. Effectively, all you accomplish is to knock your poor programmers off the train track every once in a while, so they spend the next week finding all their train cars and putting them back on the tracks and lining everything up again, a little bit battered from the experience.

In another project I briefly consulted with, this kind of management attention was known as “headless chicken mode” :-)