in reply to Re^3: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part III): People
in thread Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part III): People

I think you're living in one of those legends yourself. The overall IT sector is, along with every other sector of the economy, down over the last few years. There are companies that will cut 10% of every department just to cut costs for the stock price. Incompetent managers are just as likely as incompetent workers in any other line of work, and jerks are just as likely to be managers as any other line of work.

Performance evaluations aren't done for their own sake. They are done to validate actions the company or its staff take. A good evaluation validates a raise or promotion. A bad one validates no raise or letting someone go. If the evaluations are abused and data misconstrued, then people's jobs and pay rates are absolutely being abused as well.

Businesses don't always give the department lead a budget to be spent on whatever, and many businesses do not allow the department manager direct say in the exact pay rates of his or her staff. There is sometimes nothing but paperwork linking many workers to people making decisions that directly effect the employee's job and pay. They may not have ever met the people making the decisions. That paperwork needs to be accurate unless you really want someone to keep the wrong part of your staff around.

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Re^5: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part III): People
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Nov 10, 2010 at 14:07 UTC

    Your point is well-stated and I think that my position is balanced enough ... meant, of course, to be taken in context (that is, “with a grain of salt”).   Scott Adams has never run out of source-material for Dilbert, and he never will.

    I was, myself, one of the people who was cut from a company for the sake of a stock-price.   (The company in question was an early dot-bomb bubble that is now, of course, nowhere to be seen.)

    “ ... but I am liv-ing still ...”
    -- Jimmy Webb; The Highhwaymen.
    There was a time when I admit that I took such things personally.   But, that was long ago now.   I know how to defend myself, and how to sell myself; and I do both.

    As you say, I have never known (nor been) a manager who had any control whatever on what the employee salary ranges could be.   Nor has any contracting agency ever had control over “the rate-card.”   There are many things that one has no control over, and “employee performance” unfortunately has much less true impact than one might think.   “Being in business,” at whatever size of level you might be, is considerably more of a crap-shoot than anyone who has always been an employee might suppose.   I have been in a room where the landlord’s agent calmly walked through, telling everyone to gather their things because he had a court-judgment, a padlock and chain in his hand and he was about to shutter the place for non-payment of rent.   (I knew that I could kiss my last invoice good-bye, too; and I was right, but it was worse.   Having a bankrupt company as your client is no picnic, ’cuz it can cost you a lot of money that you legitimately received and have already spent.)

      Yes, a grain of salt and perhaps a spoonful of sugar. It can be bitter medicine to sell a third or more of every week to someone who may not be able to show you any loyalty and may not even if they could. Then again, it's no picnic running your own business, either. Oh, well, if it was all fun and games they wouldn't call it "work", right?

      Still, when things go a little bit wrong and there's less an ax and more a hedge trimmer, it helps to be one of the ones not sticking out from the hedge. Proper documentation can help those in charge of the dirty deed end up with a nicely shaped bush rather than cutting the strong branches and leaving the browning twigs.