May 01, 2011

Management Instincts Revisited

This is again about instincts in the software engineering industry.

Last time I vouched for trusting your test cases and what-if analysis rather than instincts.

But I missed upon a major point, that is the part that instinct plays in the overall process of software engineering.

You might have highly qualified engineers, architects, designers and so on employed to perform your tasks. They might be very well trained in the technologies and process also. But still there remains a scope for instinctive decision making and analysis.

These instincts are usually expected from the experienced ones. They would be able to instinctively capture missing parts of a system based on their past experiences and some pure gut feeling. But the gut feeling part is eased by the experience, and hence their suggestions and hints are considered as 'expert opinions'. Such people are also conducive to developing gut feelings among junior personnel.

But sometimes inexperienced personnel in charge of similar duties in the absence of the above mentioned qualified experienced personnel, get to experience such gut feelings. But more often it happens so that they are incapable of expressing the feelings into useful input for the team or getting it implemented in the right fashion. The reasons for these are partially individualistic and partially due to the organizational atmosphere.

Some people have the natural skill to reason logically and think deep into what-if cases, and some are good in providing a wide angle overall picture. If deployed in the right roles, such people can boost the productivity by a huge margin. But if they are deployed in completely unrelated roles or shifted around roles, the overall productivity from such individuals will go into the negative scale. This is something every resource manager has to take care of.

Overall, managing people in an organization is a tricky business involving lot of patience, detailed study of people, quite a lot of common sense and a bit of psychological motivation. And it would be good you have the instincts for it too :)

There is more to it than what I can summarize here. So watch out for more..