Shahzad Bhatti

April 13, 2006

Keeping the truck number low

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 4:02 pm

Keeping the truck number low
A general rule of thumb for most project management and methodologies is to
keep the truck or bus number low for your employees. Often, I have seen
misproportion allocation of skills among tiny number of employees. In a number
of places I worked, where people tried to hide their knowledge and created
cryptic and convoluated processes. They directly tied their knowledge and
skills with their job security and power. Often those people were gate keepers
and became Czars of entire delivery process. The problem becomes worse when
a company uses some proprietary technology and there aren’t enough people
outside to help. Often, this problem is caused by gap between
architects and developers, where software process is
ruled by a small number of architects. They create obscure frameworks that
works like magic, but no one else understands them. In such organizations,
architects treat developers like dumb workers, where developers follow
architects’s processes like McDonald employees follow recipe for big mac.

How can a company get out of this situation: by sharing knowledge across
multiple people and keeping the truck number low. So that there is minimal
impact to the project or organization when that person hit by a truck or
leave the company. Another tip is to use standard and widely used technologies
instead of nitch technology so that there is plenty of help outside. Last,
but not least by empowering developers to make decisions. This is especially
true if a team is following agile methodologies, where the role of
architect is largely diminished and developers use incremental and
evolutionary architecture.

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