mercoledì 20 maggio 2009

Product Development Philosophy - Micheal Cusumano, Synchronize-and-Stabilize e dintorni ...

Tratto da Microsoft Secret's - Michael Cusumano

Product Development Philosophy: How to coordinate the work of a large team building many interdependent components that are continually changing requires a constant and high level of communication and coordination.

It is difficult to ensure that this communication and coordination take place while still allowing designers, engineers, and marketing people the freedom to be creative. Achieving this balance is perhaps the central dilemma that managers of product development face -- in Microsoft as well as in companies from many other industries.

Dave Maritz, a former tank commander in the Israeli army who headed the MS-DOS/Windows testing group, commented on how he and other Microsoft managers try to impose only enough direction and iron-clad rules so that individuals and teams can work together toward the common goal of getting a new product out the door:

"In the military, when I was in tank warfare and I was actually fighting in tanks, there was nothing more soothing than people constantly hearing their commander's voice come across the airwaves. Somebody's in charge, even though all shit is breaking loose.... When you don't hear [the commander's voice] for more than fifteen minutes to half an hour, what's happened? Has he been shot? Has he gone out of control? Does he know what's going on? You worry.
And this is what Microsoft is.
These little offices, hidden away with the doors closed. And unless you have this constant voice of authority going across the e-mail the whole time, it doesn't work.
Everything that I do here I learned in the military....
You can't do anything that's complex unless you have structure.. .
And what you have to do is make that structure as unseen as possible and build up this image for all these prima donnas to think that they can do what they like.
Who cares if a guy walks around without shoes all day? Who cares if the guy has got his teddy bear in his office? I don't care.
I just want to know ... [if] somebody hasn't checked in his code by five o'clock. Then that guy knows that I am going to get into his office."

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