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Demonstrated: distributed database conveyor emulation

Motivation

If a company is to seriously consider a major system's integrator roll, all personal involved needs to fully aware of their part and how it relates to the system. Apathy is the greatest danger to any project. Apathy grows when there isn't proper feedback of the contributions made.

Many new people not familiar with the corporate culture such as people from a small business environment are immediately alienated by the lack of connection to a success or failure of a project. To survive in the corporate climate you must dig in and maintain a defensive paper trail whether its in their nature or not, or if its in the project or company interest.

What is Missing

Communication, feedback, ownership, and performance compensation are all lost on the larger projects. This is an extremely serious problem. Everyone places different levels of importance on different motivating factors. But each individual's motivation needs to be addressed for the larger projects.

Communication

Our communication is lost through so much documentation. Further more this paradox has become acceptable.

Feedback

Feedback directly corresponds to a persons credibility and their future. Lets consider the different environments:

A warning inside a small project is balanced in multiple ways: It gives or takes credibility to the person warning the project of a potential issue. Either in the form of immediate acknowledgement of the problem, seriousness of ensuing investigation or later should the problem manifest. The person is careful about false warnings since it erodes their credibility.

Warnings in large projects which are often ignored until its very late, and end up very expensive. Worse, these same warnings are heard by others and an automatic defensive actions kick in expecting the pending project doom. This has become the corporate culture. It is this culture which needs the most attention. Also these projects where warnings are largely ignored, further create a tendency of doomsday and over scoped warnings.

Ownership

The early stated goal of competing processes is to eliminate dependencies on individuals. Individual accountability and ownership of any piece of the project is on the decrease. The prevalent idea of throwing people people at a large task conflicts with anyone taking ownership. Apathy is the number one issue facing projects.

The reason for minimizing dependencies is a good one. Years ago we where badly hurt by the loss of key individuals. But, we have over compensated to prevent these dependencies. We need to publicly re-instates domains and their gurus.

Informally we keep some of the core ways of the past and it encourages us. People are identified with their individual core competence. Person X does flight plans. Person Y does kernel support. Person Z also does flight plans, but mostly for K type of projects. Etc...

Performance Compensation

Currently there is only a subjective performance connection for compensation. Bonuses has no reflection to an individual contributions. Actually it has been accepted as inversely proportional to managements compensation.

A sore point for many individuals is: How is the cross project support factored in?

How do keep and get motivated people?

Recognize boredom and non objective performance standards can become bigger issue then the job ladder and security promise. We are repeating the same work over and over again because as a company, we are not organized or worse don't allow organization. Many people end up performing variations on a theme, which is expensive and demoralizing. More control needs to be given to the individual. A more serious research and proof of concept needs to be part of the engineering process.

Teamwork

How do you manage super intelligent people?
  1. Don't have separate goals (individual, project, company).
  2. Allow them to achieve their goals.
  3. Connect decisions with results back to the decision maker.
  4. Don't over use employees dependencies on their jobs, its reflected in productivity.
  5. Don't stifle them with bad corporate rhetoric.
  6. Recognize you already have a great team, allow them to really run.

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