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(Ovid) RE(2): Management vs. Geeks

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Sep 08, 2000 at 21:05 UTC ( #31627=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to RE: Why do monks put up with it?
in thread Why do monks put up with it?

Actually, you didn't piss me off in the slightest. I think I understood your intent, but my sincerest apologies if this thread came across wrong. I was just using your comments as a springboard for discussion.

On another note: I'm reading about so many people harping about bad technical decisions companies make. While this is often the case, I have found that many computer people refuse to acknowledge business decisions are at least as important as the technical ones. While we so often whine about management that doesn't understand what we do, management so often whines about computer weenies who can't understand simple concepts such as TCO, variance reporting, or opportunity costs. How are the two sides going to meet?

I remember one company I worked for was choosing budget software. It came down to two candidates. One software package was very flexible, extensible, and suited our corporate architecture very well.

The other software package was inflexible, limited in functionality, and had a proprietary database that no one knew anything about. On technical merits, it was unanimously voted down, yet it was the software package that management chose. Despite an uproar amongst the techies, it was the right decision (I was the techie who implemented and supported the software, so I was intimately familiar with what was happening). But why was it the right decision?

Because we were an insurance company, we had very tight regulations governing what we could and could not do. As a result, when it came to budget variance reporting, we had a deadline that was mandated by law (and it's a hell of a lot tougher than most think). Because we had just consolidated four companies into one and had to choose a new budget package, the one that we chose (despite its poor technical merits) was the ONLY package that we could get up and running on time. Hence, all of the techies thought management was stupid, and management moaned about computer people who refused to acknowledge that business forces often override technical considerations. Guess what, folks? It ain't a perfect world.

Cheers,
Ovid


Comment on (Ovid) RE(2): Management vs. Geeks
RE: (Ovid) RE(2): Management vs. Geeks
by KM (Priest) on Sep 08, 2000 at 22:25 UTC
    understand simple concepts such as TCO, variance reporting, or opportunity costs

    Don't forget the new cover sheets for the TPS reports!
    </Office Space reference>

    Cheers,
    KM

      Um... yeah... we're gonna have to move your desk, yeah... yeah that'd be great...
RE: (d4vis) RE(2): Management vs. Geeks
by d4vis (Chaplain) on Sep 09, 2000 at 05:47 UTC
    A minor point perhaps, but in response to:
    >"computer weenies who can't understand simple concepts such as TCO, variance reporting, or opportunity costs."
    I've often found that I (as a techie) have a much better understanding of the true TCO on a particular technology than our accountants and/or management. There are costs beyond purchase price and deployment, such as long-term support, ease of integration, training time, etc... that the accounting staff is in no position to judge.
    It's the techies who can often provide the best estimate of the 'total' in TCO. We just have to learn enough of 'their' language to make our point clearly.

    ~d4vis
    #!/usr/bin/fnord

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