Thursday, May 04, 2006


One Way I Spend Your Money

So, okay, yesterday my boss informally met with me and a couple of other team leaders.

"Not everyone in your teams are correcting the defects you find in their work. From now on, you are to check the defects five days after you write them up; if the defect is not fixed, e-mail the employee and cc their immediate supervisor. If its still not fixed after a couple of days, notify the immediate supervisor and go and sit in the employee's cubicle while they fix it."

I reflected on the fact that I had not been responsible in following up on defects I found. But, the immediate supervisor sees these people every day. I would think the immediate supervisor, not me, would be the logical person to enforce defect correction.

Nearly all of the team members will fix identified defects as a matter of course. But they all feel swamped and pressured to produce. They get little credit for fixing a defect, and a case defect that takes hours to correct counts the same as a case that takes five minutes.

I hate sitting in a cubicle watching someone work as much as I hate sitting at the kitchen table watching my kid do her homework. A sure way to de-motivate someone is to take away responsibility them and to treat them like little children.

But in my little corner of government, sometimes getting it exactly right trumps everything else. And who knows? It might be salutory for those few slackers to have a baby-boomer standing in their cubicle, shaming them into doing their work. But somehow, I doubt it.

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