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How to deal with “Pointy Hair Managers”…. November 30, 2008

Posted by gcorbin in Commentary.
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It’s the same old question that you hear time after time, why should we buy a control package when we have many capable developers on staff? It’s a question that is often posed by inexperienced management trying to save a few bucks. For such management, it’s often a rhetorical question because what they are really trying to say is “no, it’s a waste of money!” As all us software engineers know, in reality buying control packs will save lots of money in the long run. So, the issue becomes how do you deal with such management? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. I’ve found in my experience that demonstrating the savings by comparing the time needed for you to build a control vs. the cost of the control is often not enough to convince anyone. Only after you’ve done the coding, support, documentation, and enhancements that these managers see the light. Sometime, no matter how much you debate something, some people will not budge. Whether is sheer stubbornness or just plain stupidity it does not matter. This question really boils down to the age old question of “how do you give someone wisdom without them having to gained it through experience?” So my advice when dealing with “pointy haired managers” is to just run! If you have the patience to help them understand, then that’s great. It may benefit you in the long run, but most likely it will just ware you down.

At the end of the day, just remember that they are the ones signing your paycheck. If that’s no longer enough of a reason to smile and just get along with them, then its time for a new job.