Insanity.

Insanity is having a two week scrum cycle and expecting to push working code to production at the conclusion of every single blasted cycle.

Insanity is expecting engineering to read, digest, and understand every single last bullet point on a 50 page product specification document in a matter of weeks, written by product managers who think they’re architects designing a product.

Insanity is doubling-down on the previous statement by creating 13 or 14 such 50 page documents, because engineering didn’t understand the first 50 page document.

Insanity is getting pissed off at said engineering because they notice conflicts on the bullet points in said 13 volume requirement and wonder how they should implement something that resolves the conflicting points.

Insanity is not shielding your direct reports from the vagaries and insanities of upper management, who believes their lack of understanding is your emergency.

Insanity is not pushing back at said upper management who thinks if they can buy something as complex as Microsoft Office at Amazon for a few hundred bucks and have it delivered in two days, then clearly you should be able to deliver something similarly complex in the same time frame and on the same budget.

Insanity is thinking that an admittedly poor manager managing an admittedly poor employee will somehow result in excellence.

Insanity is thinking making people look good both up and down the management chain is your first priority, or even your second or third. (Not to say cooperation isn’t vital–but cooperation is not the same as making people look good: the first requires getting along, the second requires pushing out mis-information.)

Insanity is stripping head count from a well functioning group and handing them to a poorly functioning group, on the theory that this will balance the workload.

Insanity is forgetting that everyone you manage has the potential of becoming an extremely talented person–some simply need to be taught, some you need patience with, and some who are naturally talented, if not recognized, may find greener pastures elsewhere. And even if at their maximum potential some people are far less productive than others, they’ll still be far more productive if encouraged.

Insanity is not being forward thinking.

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