The Loss of Knowledge

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Loss of Knowledge

  • The only constant is change.  Domain knowledge covers the gap between the perfection of everything being exchangeable (fungible) for the ideal widget for today, and the reality of keeping an organisation operating when inertia, budget constraints, limited competence, etc, prevent most of those widgets from ever being made.

    Domain knowledge should be cherished as it is the thing that allows the organisation to operate at the maximum of its ability.  Domain knowledge also needs to be constantly challenged as it prevents the organisation from operating more effectively.  If domain knowledge is lost, the ability of the organisation to keep operating is also lost.

    Original author: https://github.com/SQL-FineBuild/Common/wiki/ 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2019, 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005.

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  • Losing staff is like suffering an organisational brain injury.  In most cases the effect is minor akin to a memory lapse and the knowledge is still there, just not residing in entirety in one person's head.

    In other cases the brain injury is more severe.  Information is lost and has to be derived from first principles with gaps that heal over time.  There is an organisational wobble, adjustment and a new equilibrium is found.

    The higher up a manager gets within the organisation the broader their view becomes at an expense of depth.  They are recruited for that different view and with a different skill set.  The higher up you go the more reliant you are on the people beneath you.  In my experience communication is something that many organisations do poorly.  Effective communication even more so.  There is also a reluctance to have difficult conversations, especially when the perception of the senior is that the junior is a naysayer.  The junior is well aware that this might be a career limiting conversation.

    Attitude to risk is different at senior levels too.  People don't get to be senior without taking risks..

    I am not sure what the answer to this is.  People are people. Hierarchies are a natural thing.

  • Steve, if I could I'd give your article one billion likes. I totally agree with you.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • David.Poole wrote:

    Losing staff is like suffering an organisational brain injury.  In most cases the effect is minor akin to a memory lapse and the knowledge is still there, just not residing in entirety in one person's head.

    That is a fantastic quote. I'm going to use that. a TBI may or may not be crippling, but it can slow you down. And in this case, it is often unnecessary.

  • EdVassie wrote:

    The only constant is change.  Domain knowledge covers the gap between the perfection of everything being exchangeable (fungible) for the ideal widget for today, and the reality of keeping an organisation operating when inertia, budget constraints, limited competence, etc, prevent most of those widgets from ever being made.

    Domain knowledge should be cherished as it is the thing that allows the organisation to operate at the maximum of its ability.  Domain knowledge also needs to be constantly challenged as it prevents the organisation from operating more effectively.  If domain knowledge is lost, the ability of the organisation to keep operating is also lost.

    I don't know about the ability to operate being lost, but it's degraded for sure. Sometimes things might improve with new people, but I think often they don't.

  • EdVassie wrote:

    The only constant is change.  Domain knowledge covers the gap between the perfection of everything being exchangeable (fungible) for the ideal widget for today, and the reality of keeping an organisation operating when inertia, budget constraints, limited competence, etc, prevent most of those widgets from ever being made.

    Domain knowledge should be cherished as it is the thing that allows the organisation to operate at the maximum of its ability.  Domain knowledge also needs to be constantly challenged as it prevents the organisation from operating more effectively.  If domain knowledge is lost, the ability of the organisation to keep operating is also lost.

    I don't know about the ability to operate being lost, but it's degraded for sure. Sometimes things might improve with new people, but I think often they don't.

  • Rod at work wrote:

    Steve, if I could I'd give your article one billion likes. I totally agree with you.

    Thank you. I know of your struggles and hope you find a better situation.

  • "The higher up a manager gets within the organisation the broader their view becomes at an expense of depth."

    David, your comments are amazing, and I think exactly on the mark.  Maybe we need to totally rethink the whole management function.  Decades ago my wife began her career as a secretary for a legal firm, and from hearing her stories it gives me a whole new perspective on management.  My guess is that she was a better manager of things in that organization than the best of the partners and very instrumental in leading them into available technology.   Maybe we have idolized the management funtion far beyond what it should be.

    Should we see 'managers'  as a function of collecting, receording, organizing, and distributing information to various groups who are themselves responsible for different aspects of business while managers 'get the hell out of they way' of actual accomplishment?

    Years ago I was at one point the 'manager' of a small IT shop of varying 7-8 folks, before I got weary of it all, and went on as a  designer, developer, DBA.  Through those years, I was privileged to work with some skilled folks and we all spent effort actually developing, testing, and implementing code together and learning WITH each other.  We ALL knew how EVERYTHING worked and ANY of us could handle issues as they arose day, night,weekend.   No one 'owned' any of the code, and all of us could pitch in and make corrections, adjustments and improvements as needed.

    Those were the early days of my IT work, and we took a years-old family-owned and operated, totally manual company and made them a leader in technology among the competieion in our metropolitan area over ten years working together.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  skeleton567.

    Rick
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  • To manager is just another job. It's not above many of the workers, at least not in technical roles. Maybe in a McDonalds or retail store.

    I might argue the CEO often isn't substantially better at their job than a VP might be. Yet we pay some out of whack, and we often pay and revere managers more than they are due.

    We shouldn't view managers as a promotion above the technical worker. It's a different career path. Promoting the best tech person to manager isn't the way to do things. We ought to hire and train someone to empower the workers below them and ensure the workers are accountable for the work assigned.

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