The Waste of Engineering Management


Yesterday was a "contemplate the need for engineering management" day for me. In the morning, we had demos of projects that people did during Friday's HackDay, and later in the day Tomaž tweeted a post by one engineering manager from Google that "Engineering Management Is Dying". It's beyond amazing how much can people accomplish if they know exactly what to do and are really motivated to do it. I assess that individual productivity on Friday's HackDay was at least five times the normal. The primary reason for such elevated productivity levels was most likely, as Hamax noted, that "nobody was interrupting anybody else". A corollary to this observation is that costs of coordination in an engineering project are at least 80% of total costs, thus making it the biggest waste and biggest opportunity for productivity improvements.