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Management at Scale


Management at Scale

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Management at Scale

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paul.knibbs
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What does "provide more value than they cost" mean? Sounds like you want workers to do more work for the same money, but I'm sure that's not what you *do* mean.
Gary Varga
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Some places there is a vicious cycle where management (on behalf of the company or following the corporate culture) make demands on the staff without appropriate consideration or compensation and there are staff who do the minimum they can get away with yet expect all the benefits.

At some places, HR/management policies demand all staff being treated equally rather than equitably. By that I mean that everyone gets treated the same regardless of how they behave (I am deliberately ignoring bad/inappropriate/illegal behaviour). This understandably appears to lead to a situation where someone doing just the minimum gets rewarded exactly the same as someone going "above and beyond". This is really a poor situation for motivation especially when the persons just doing the minimum to get by are allocated high value work.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
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I'll second Steve's article, but also point out this is valuable at the other end of the scale - the tiny shop where you have one, maybe two people in IT running the whole show. The "scale" in this case isn't the numbers of servers and instances, but rather where you're the one being the DBA, the developer, the desktop support, procurement and so on...and so on...and so on... .

I wear A LOT of hats in my current job simply because it's me and the boss. We're part of a major multi-national corporation, but our little office is something of an autonomous unit (way too long to explain) so we're basically the IT department, and I do most of it because my boss is heavily involved in finances as well.

I've been using the incredible brain trust we have lying around here to learn how to automate many tasks and monitor our systems. That's freed me up to create or procure solutions for other departments to help centralize and automate their processes, and it gives me time to accomplish other facets of my job.

Sometimes we hear "big" when someone says "scale" and that isn't necessarily the case.

____________
Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.
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I don't know how Steve means this. To me it means that you are a profit center for the organization rather than a cost center. You can provide "profit" by making or saving the company more many than you cost. A profit center is difficult to cut in bad times. A cost center is easier to cut. I think all employees should strive to provide more value than they cost.

Tom
Gary Varga
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OCTom (1/27/2014)
I don't know how Steve means this. To me it means that you are a profit center for the organization rather than a cost center. You can provide "profit" by making or saving the company more many than you cost. A profit center is difficult to cut in bad times. A cost center is easier to cut. I think all employees should strive to provide more value than they cost.

Tom


Totally agree. I am always a bit disappointed whenever I come across someone who thinks that they "deserve" their job regardless of what amount of effort and/or ability they bring to the table.

I have even come across graduates in the last decade who thought that all their hard work was done and that they should be allowed to sit around browsing whilst others brought them teas and coffees. Not all thankfully.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
djackson 22568
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (1/25/2014)
Comments posted to this topic are about the item <A HREF="/articles/Editorial/106276/">Management at Scale</A>


Steve, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I recognize that you are not disparaging workers, or at least do not intend to, when you say
All too often I find there are too many workers that want to get their job done, without providing more value than they cost.


Still, there are some of us who are "stars" where we work who will incur an emotional response to that statement. I know I did. Why? Because I believe that a lot of performance issues are due to inappropriate treatment from management, along with insufficient compensation. I give far more than I am paid for. About 10% of my co-workers do the same. Some of our team performs just fine, but may not be considered "stars" by others. A few of our team are substandard.

While I believe those who are not up to standards should be mentored until they show sufficient improvement, I know that most of them are underpaid significantly.

My view is that you pay for the position, and if someone can't cut it, you replace them. Too many companies pay substandard wages as a rule, and then blame poor performance on the employee. As my son would say "I call BS on that!"

Dave
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djackson 22568 (1/27/2014)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (1/25/2014)
Comments posted to this topic are about the item <A HREF="/articles/Editorial/106276/">Management at Scale</A>


Steve, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I recognize that you are not disparaging workers, or at least do not intend to, when you say
All too often I find there are too many workers that want to get their job done, without providing more value than they cost.


Still, there are some of us who are "stars" where we work who will incur an emotional response to that statement. I know I did. Why? Because I believe that a lot of performance issues are due to inappropriate treatment from management, along with insufficient compensation. I give far more than I am paid for. About 10% of my co-workers do the same. Some of our team performs just fine, but may not be considered "stars" by others. A few of our team are substandard.

While I believe those who are not up to standards should be mentored until they show sufficient improvement, I know that most of them are underpaid significantly.

My view is that you pay for the position, and if someone can't cut it, you replace them. Too many companies pay substandard wages as a rule, and then blame poor performance on the employee. As my son would say "I call BS on that!"


I take more of an issue on effort given.

If someone currently lacks ability then either they mis-sold themselves (no sympathy), they need to know/know how to do more (management need to allow remedial action to occur e.g. training) or it is not the role they are best suited to (definitely a case-by-case basis). I certainly don't think that this editorial means to disparage anyone. Most of us at some time or other will not be providing the value for which we are paid as sometimes, new starters for example, the pay is for potential ability as well as current productivity.

...but if they can't be bothered then they can take the proverbial hike (that's means leave).

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
djackson 22568
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Gary Varga (1/27/2014)
djackson 22568 (1/27/2014)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (1/25/2014)
Comments posted to this topic are about the item <A HREF="/articles/Editorial/106276/">Management at Scale</A>


Steve, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I recognize that you are not disparaging workers, or at least do not intend to, when you say
All too often I find there are too many workers that want to get their job done, without providing more value than they cost.


Still, there are some of us who are "stars" where we work who will incur an emotional response to that statement. I know I did. Why? Because I believe that a lot of performance issues are due to inappropriate treatment from management, along with insufficient compensation. I give far more than I am paid for. About 10% of my co-workers do the same. Some of our team performs just fine, but may not be considered "stars" by others. A few of our team are substandard.

While I believe those who are not up to standards should be mentored until they show sufficient improvement, I know that most of them are underpaid significantly.

My view is that you pay for the position, and if someone can't cut it, you replace them. Too many companies pay substandard wages as a rule, and then blame poor performance on the employee. As my son would say "I call BS on that!"


I take more of an issue on effort given.

If someone currently lacks ability then either they mis-sold themselves (no sympathy), they need to know/know how to do more (management need to allow remedial action to occur e.g. training) or it is not the role they are best suited to (definitely a case-by-case basis). I certainly don't think that this editorial means to disparage anyone. Most of us at some time or other will not be providing the value for which we are paid as sometimes, new starters for example, the pay is for potential ability as well as current productivity.

...but if they can't be bothered then they can take the proverbial hike (that's means leave).


I don't disagree with you.

My point is that we need to question whether the performance issue is due to the employee or the employer. If it is the employer, than the employee should consider another opportunity. If it is the employee, then the things you said are spot on.

In our case, we have lost something like 60% of our department in the last couple years. We keep hearing that it isn't about compensation, but those of us who are in contact with those who left hear a different tale.

When you don't compensate appropriately, you see low performance, and high turnover. You don't lose the underperformers, though, you lose some of the high performers. Companies claim that since some of the high performers remain, it must not be pay, ignoring that not everybody jumps ship at the first chance they get. Some of us are like firemen, we see the challenge and run into the fire rather than away from it.

Others remain because they are not employable elsewhere, at least not at the performance level they provide. Frequently they cause additional turnover as the high performers take on their work, leading to increased frustration, and then they leave.

I stand by my claim that companies need to pay people at the appropriate scale. They need to recognize when they are paying too little and fix that. If you are paying correctly, providing training where appropriate, and you have people who just aren't working out, you need to fix it before it hurts moral and productivity.

Lastly, I KNOW Steve was not disparaging anyone, in fact I agree with most of what he is saying, I just want to make sure we consider the root cause, not just the symptoms. Low performance is not always an employee issue.

Dave
Steve Jones
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paul.knibbs (1/27/2014)
What does "provide more value than they cost" mean? Sounds like you want workers to do more work for the same money, but I'm sure that's not what you *do* mean.


It sounds like that, but not necessarily. It's about doing a better job.

Analogy that's simple: I can build a table for $50, I pay you the $50 to do it. You can do it poorly, with nails that don't last as the wood moves, or you can do it with screws for the same effort.

We can do better work, providing better value for our employers than we might otherwise do. I usually try (in employment and consulting) to have the client feel they're getting a lot for their money.

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