Who is responsible for the delay?

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dilbert.com

The company measures our performance and effectiveness by looking on the charts, numbers. The theory is simple. The managers set up goals, priorities, coordinate tasks. The employees are responsible for the results. Who is responsible for the delays?

– I have a problem with the hardware and software. It didn’t work. I couldn’t do my tasks.
– Oh… your performance is terrible. Take a look at this chart? Try to read the guidelines.
– I have a problem with the hardware and software. It didn’t work. I couldn’t do my tasks.
– Oh… this task is the most important now. You should finished as soon as possible. Try to restart your hardware next time.

Who is responsible for the delays in the above situation? Employee? Manager? Partners? None of them and all of them.

The question is not who is responsible for this situation but what to do now? Charts help us to identify the existence of the problem, not the reasons or solutions. The problem may be simple or complex but to solve it we have to start asking to understand its nature.

How asking about “who” helps? In my opinion it helps to increase the delay and nothing more.

Bugs, problems, issues versus creativity.

11df929025b42348e9d3db9e19afa3f3How to deal with bugs? The first solution is to implement a control chain – an inspection process. Each part of the project (e.g a module, script, documentation) will be controlled by a number of people or systems during the development.

Quality Engineer: Hey, I have detected a bug that should be fixed till the end of the week.
Developer: Oh, ok. I will fix it as soon as possible.

This is a standard dialogue between developer and quality engineer during the development process. The bug was detected and probably it will be fixed as developer said “as soon as possible”. From the quality engineer perspective it is something what should be done here.

Housing estate resident: Unauthorized cars shouldn’t be here!
Housing estate administrator: Oh… I will install RFID based car authorization system, then we solve the problem. We need 10k dollars to implement such system.
Another voice: Why unauthorized cars are the problem? Is it true that there are no parking for the guests? The RFID based car authorization system will deepen the problem only. This is not what you want!

How many times the bug solution is a reason of the next, more serious bug? To solve bugs we have to think about the whole context not the bugs only. We should learn how to ask about the reasons. How dilbert comic is related to the article? The bug is a lie. The more serious bug is an unsatisfied client. The most serious bug is a company culture represented by the manager.