Subject: Re: NetBSD: Certified mom-ready.
To: Chris G. Demetriou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Ted Lemon <email@example.com>
Date: 04/20/1999 13:22:25
> There's definitely something to be said that at least the notion of
> 'person in charge of foo' is needed in many areas, otherwise you get
> mixed messages, dropped balls, etc.
Conversely, if there is a specific "person in charge of foo" for every
foo, then if the person in charge of foo is wrong about foo, no
progress is made, and in all likelihood much harm is caused. You used
to work for DEC - I'm sure you can recall what can happen when some
DEC manager is told that s/he "owns" some feature.
Balls get dropped when nobody has specifically taken responsibility
for something. The antidote to this is for people to step up and do
it, as Erik has requested (sorry, Erik, until my book is done I just
don't have time). Taking responsibility is different than taking
ownership, though, and this is a key distinction.
Mixed messages are unavoidable - unless we are all perfect, we will
inevitably have different takes on how to do things. The cure to
this is mutual respect, criticism that doesn't obscure the other
viewpoint, and compromise. Appointing somebody who gets to win
is not an antidote for this problem, except in the lucky and
completely unpredictable case that that person actually happens to be
completely right and the other person happens to be completely wrong.