There is no Chain of Command

Uncivil discussion

I’ve got a new gig with Cisco!  Great team, enjoying it so far.

In software development, the best teams on which I’ve worked are very flat.  Everyone is hard working out of the gate, bringing skills that must be demonstated regularly to bring self-satisfaction.  During analysis and design, and even implementation, quality decision making will always determine the project’s success.  How is this best accomplished on a team of 5 or 8 people?  Answer: check your ego at the door.

If you have a complex task in which you must make a non-trivial decision, you should vet a proposal for the solution with the team.  If you can sell it easily, it is a good decision, and it’s full steam ahead.  If there are objections, and you agree with the objections, you change course accordingly.  Obvious so far.  Here’s the nuanced part:  If there is dissention, it is time to employ logic, and logic only, with no ego, no authoritarianism.  These discussions can be difficult in worst case scenarios, enough to make those with conviction in a specific solution uncomfortable as the others pick it apart.  Good teams hang in there and ride it out.  The final decision should be set by the team member who makes the case for the best solution implemented in the most efficient manner, in the opinion of the majority, always with a respect for the domain knowledge and experience of the members.  Because egos are checked, reasonable concessions can be made with expectation that in the next round, equal respect will be given.  Every member always contributes a fresh perspective, and the discussions ensure that the best ideas rise to the top, every time.

Good software development processes usually includes metrics to measure success.  Over time, lessons are learned, experience is gained, and this feeds back in to improve and inform the decision making process.

I’m trying to determine how these principles can be applied to politics, which is a wreck in this country with the current level of corruption and propaganda, at unprecedented levels I never thought I would see here.  There are three requirements: logic must rule over power and brute force, every time; there must be precise measurable, and measured, metrics by which to judge the outcome of every decision; these metrics must carry more weight than any philosophy or agenda or pontificating or bloviation.

The metric: the net value to humanity divided by the gross cost.  That’s it.  Of course the devil is in the details… :-)  Here are some metrics I believe in:

Basic healthcare value: $5000 per capita per year (pcpy)

Local safety value: $2000 pcpy

Global safety value: $3000 pcpy

Sustainability value: $10000 pcpy

Comfort and happiness value: $10000 pcpy

Opportunity value: $1000 pcpy

Any governmental effort has a cost.  The effort’s value is measured against its ability to meet one or more of these goals.  The decision-making process would be driven by measurement of value.  Those on the right or left would adjust the values, but keep the system of metrics intact.  The arguments would center around the target values, and how much a particular program benefited humanity.  Instead of the circus we have now, where the Republican majority does not even believe in the collaborative potential of government.

If I ever run for office, that will be my platform.  :-)

2 thoughts to “There is no Chain of Command”

    1. Hey I didn’t make these stupid rules, just surviving under them. :-) I have to say that even during this time of no paycheck I’ve been giving to environmental, welfare and left charities more and more as I get madder and madder. My dad used to do it, it didn’t matter if he could only give $5, it was the principle of giving. I love that. Not right to brag about it though, I wish we could be more humble in general but we are getting tramped by the hateful and greedy. It’s really hard to go against that. Building is hard, destroying easy.

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