Imagine if the car industry was run like a software house:
- Security features, such as seatbelts and brakes, would be added in later revisions of the cars if there was enough demand/people noticed they were missing;
- In fact, initial shipments of new car models would consist of nothing more than engines on chassis; the rest of the car would be added later. Owners would have to take their cars back to the garage to get the "upgrades" fitted. This allows managers to hit their fantastical deadlines, based not upon considered research, but on a number whimsically pulled from the ether;
- In the final few days of the project, the manager would say, "I like what you've done there, but can we make it a three-wheeler?" Yep, sure; we'll just have to redesign the chassis, and the shell, and the interior, and the engine... Oh, you want it done by tomorrow?
- Managers would argue for hours about whether the car should be blue or red, but would resolutely refuse to even consider discussing the kind of engine or transmission it should possess;
- Before each new model of car is commissioned, managers would decide
that a market for the car exists; they do no research, and are consistently astonished when the cars don't sell.
Originally Posted by Jim
The whole industry is like this.
From what I've seen, I'd say that industry in its entirety is like this. Managers tend to know how to manage, but have absolutely no relevant knowledge of what it is they are managing. I'd happily bet that the managers at Rover don't know how to put a car together; managers at IBM don't know how to string a "Hello World" program together; and managers at Tesco don't know how to work a till.
In the ideal world, managers would have to spend a month or so actually doing the job they aim to administer. Maybe that way, when I say a project is going to take two months, I won't be told to do it in two weeks; maybe, 13 days into the project, they won't change their minds about how it should function; and maybe, when discussing impact of the latest batch of specification changes, they won't announce that programming is nothing more than "putting boxes on the screen".