Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Why Managers Exist

One of the reasons that corporations exist is to benefit from specialization.

An unintended side effect of specialization is that individuals become dissociated from the outcomes of their efforts.

The Manager's role is to design, implement, and maintain systems that re-associate individuals with their outcomes.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

System design & GSAT

There are too many lawyers & sociologists in public policy, & not enough engineers. I don't mean just civil/electronic/mechanical engineers. I'm also talking about software engineers, reliability engineers, the entirety of activity that engages in ensuring that the systems that we set up have the greatest chance of delivering the outcomes that we desire.

Take the GSAT. Papers leak. Teachers & parents cheat. We could review security standards, set up stings, go to all kinds of lengths to try to prevent this. But then we still have a system with a single point of catastrophic failure. What if we have a flood event on the day of the exam? Or an outbreak of a contagious disease?

It's horrible system design,and dealing with the problems caused by that bad design is distracting us from the truly fundamental issue…which is the 5:1 ratio of kids to HS places.