Doing more for less…
January 26, 2010 10 Comments
… seems to mean doing less.
Over recent years, economic troubles, and focus on the bottom line, I’ve heard wide mention of the phrase “Doing More for Less.”
Everywhere I look where people claim to be “doing more for less”, all I see is doing less.
(Although making sure you look busy while doing less seems to be the most important “quality”).
Has there ever been a time where so many people have been so focused on the short term, today’s budget, what just needs to be done “for this requirement only”?
Or so little care about whether it will be still standing tomorrow, whether it’s good value, or the right way to do something?
It’s a checkbox world.
Box ticked? Check! Move on to the next one!
In my day-to-day IT role, I seem to have regressed recently to only having one line changes to make.
One line changes which take ages to test.
Is it the cheapest change to make for the requirement?
Are we slowly making so many cheap, tactical one line changes such that system just becomes too convoluted, the cost of testing changes vastly outweighs the cost of making the code change and it starts to look cheaper to start again than to make any more changes?
But I’m not just talking about IT.
After the recent cold snap in the UK, there have been potholes in the roads everywhere.
Last week a couple of the biggest, most alloy-threatening down my lane had suddenly been filled in.
Had they been filled in properly?
Of course not.
Was it a proper repair, properly sealed that stood a chance of lasting another bout of the cold stuff?
Of course not.
Had it just been filled and compacted in the cheapest way to meet the immediate requirement? Hole filled?
But I can push the edges of the repair with my finger and it starts to crumble!
At the gym this week, I was chatting to one of the instructors.
The local place had a reputation of having one of the best line-ups of instructors in Europe requiring several years of experience, sports science degrees, etc.
She was bemoaning the cost-cutting which had resulted in several very experience and motivating instructors leaving and the general trend of moving away from instructors with significant years of experience and sports science education towards using far less experienced instructors working to prescripted classes detailing the precise times to shout specific motivating phrases.
You could go to any of these guys and their wealth of broad knowledge would be evident when telling you what was probably causing a specific problem or suggesting a change to a specific routine, etc.
Same number of classes?
Check! (but shorter)
This years budget reduced?
Are punters leaving because of the poorer service?
Politics has always been notoriously short-termist. But in the UK so many of the actions are targeted towards just winning the next, imminent election, not doing what’s best for the deficit, the long-term future of the country, etc.
And just look at the state of people’s pensions with the actions on dividend tax relief when Labour first came to power, etc.
Long-term financial security and state independence undermined?
I don’t like talking about politics. But what about the deployments of underequipped armed forces? Defence budgets cut? Check! Armies deployed? Check!
Look at the big banks. Saved by taxpayers billions? Check! Now inappropriately making billions of short-term profits based on QE and paying huge bonuses? Check! Move along! This isn’t the contrition and long term thinking that you were looking for.
I used to think that so many of the things which annoyed me were IT specific and the result of, for example, poor interpretations/implementations of “Agile.” (Mind you before that I was incredibly frustrated by the blind adherence to Waterfall – Analysis done? Check!)
But I see so many tangents in so many unrelated areas.
And everywhere I look (not just IT) there seems to be an abundance of managers (Managing? Check!) and a void of leaders.
It’s a funny old world.
Where are the last bastions of doing things properly?