How to have an unhealthy workplace?

--Originally published at Blog de Célia

In the 16th chapter of the Deadline novel, the events get more complicated. The situation looks stressful for Mr. T. He is supposed to handle the fact that the managers sometimes can be really angry to their employees and the fact that specifications that they have for the projects are not precise at all.

SME Loans

In this chapter, I learn many things that I have never thought about before reading this. First, as Mr T. wrote in his book:

“Anger and contempt in management are contagious. When upper management is abusive, lower management mimics the same behaviour”

I never really had a reflexion about this, but it is logical. You are putting the stress and the anger that people put on you on the others.

Then Mr. T understood that too:

“Ambiguity in a specification is a sign of unresolved conflict among the various system stakeholders.”

They have had a big debate about the specifications for the projects, and most of the time when the specifications are unclear it comes from above. For me, when the stakeholders cannot be agreeing on the important decision, they are not able to create an ambitious and productive work environment. However, it gives more freedom to the managers that are closer to the reality. To my opinion, it is not to bad, even better because they know better what the best for the company.

For me, this chapter is on the conflicts and what is create the unhealthy environment of work. I have always thought that your manager is responsible of the ambiance in the company, but it comes from above. The culture in a company depends from the head managers, they create the environment in the company. For me, working in a nice and healthy environment is the most important, Continue reading "How to have an unhealthy workplace?"

Review on Chapter 16 of ‚The Deadline: A Novel about Project Management‘

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Reflections

Feeling stupid?

In the beginning, notebooks with specs from the American NASPlan which ended up in litigation arrive in Morovia, stolen by Mr. Belok as a ‚help‘ for the project. I especially liked the comment of Mr. Kenoros when taking all those books to the teams:

We take on too much because we are terrified of too little.

Aristotle Kenoros

Then, Mr. T. is informed of a new problem. Osmun Gradish is the PMill-A project manager. He is changing from a „pleasant, soft-spoken, young manager“ into being „loud“, „angry“ and „abusive“ because of the pressure and stress on having to lead an overstaffed project team. They also suspect that he is afraid his project will be the only one not to meet the deadline, leaving him to be blamed for that failure.

Mr T. writes in his journal his thoughts:

  • Anger and contempt in management are contagious. When upper management is abusive, lower management mimics the same behavior (much like abused children who go on to become abusive parents).
  • Managerial contempt is supposed to act as a goad to get people to invest more in their performance. It is the most frequent „stick“ of carrot-and-stick management. But where is the evidence that contempt has ever caused anyone to perform better?
  • A manager’s use of contempt to goad workers is more a sign of the manager’s inadequacy than of the workers.

Meanwhile, Belinda is leading the project for the Air Traffic Control Tower for the summer games in Morovia. Her team is currently reading the Radio Governance System (RGS) specs from the FAA. However, none of them understands what exactly is specified by the RGS specs. With Belinda’s help, they conclude that in fact, it doesn´t specify a system at all and contains only vague descriptions that could be applied to

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