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Goal setting

A while ago I discussed the new goal setting process at work. In the interest of reducing paperwork the new process comes with software instead of paper forms. The hope is that we'll be able to use the software instead of the previous process of a bunch of paper for everything. My group of managers recently reviewed the software. It was very simple. . . very very simple.

The employee fills out their goals. The manager can edit their goals. Then the employee and manager meet. Then each party signs off on the goals.

"If I'm sending goals back to an employee to do some additional work on them, where do I enter the comments? Is that just in email?" Silence. "You want to send it back to the employee rather than just editing it yourself?" "Yes. Possibly iterating multiple times." "I don't think it supports iterative processes."

In fact, while this can be fixed in various ways, the current process has no way to edit the goals once the manager has saved. Yes, that's right: if during the meeting with the employee, you discover you want to change something, that's too bad. Or if you hit save accidentally.

How do people make these mistakes?

Comments

That's funny. It reminds me of the rope swing parable. I heard several variations of it, but here is the one I like the most. (It is best shown as series of pictures, but I'll make do with words.) The customer wants a software designer to make a rope swing that will hang from a branch of a tree. The designer makes a swing and hangs it from a thin branch that will surely break under a human weight. The customer says: oh no, it needs to be safe! The designer says OK, and makes the ropes so long that the bottom of the swing rests on the ground. The customer says: oh no, it needs to be off the ground! The designer says: OK, and hangs the swing on a thick branch, off the ground, but so close to the tree trunk that there is no room to swing.
That's great. It's nice to see software engineering stories where the
designer is wrong. There are too many of the other kind.

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