June 4, 2024 at 3:22 pm

His New Project Manager Wants Updates In Overdrive, So He Shows Why That Is A Very Bad Idea

by Ashley Ashbee

Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

There’s a fine line between keeping people updated to boost performance and doing it at the cost of productivity for the sake of it.

This design engineer and his colleagues came up with a plan to prove how counter-productive over-reporting is for the business. Follow along to see how it went.

You want an email notification of every check in? Okay, boss.

I work as an integrated circuit design engineer. My team is mostly based in the Bay Area but my current project is on the East Coast.

We haven’t met the project manager in person (working remote due to covid) and he is more controlling and overbearing than we are used to.

We use a version control system to check in changes to the design to make sure we can roll back if there are errors or whatever. Works great.

We typically don’t check in too often, only when we make a significant change we want others to be able to see.

We would do a few check ins on average normally.

The harmony didn’t last, thanks to a project manager’s thirst for metrics and policing.

This new project manager came down with an edict last month that one of our KPIs (key performance indicators, one of the ways they evaluate our performance) will be how many check ins we do.

The project manager has configured the version control system so he gets an email for every check in so he can keep tabs on us.

I told him the team didn’t want to be evaluated on check ins anymore because doing too many checkins is counterproductive, but the guy wouldn’t budge.

We are getting to the point in the project where we have to start hammering the design with tests to try to find faults.

OP’s solution is quite clever while also professional.

This morning I was on Slack with a few team members and we came up with an idea.

We usually make a zip file of the test vectors to check in once, but there is a performance argument we can make to just check them in individually as raw text.

Project manager wants an email from every checkin? Fine. Project manager wants to evaluate us on number of checkins? Fine.

We wrote a script that makes each team member check in a certain amount of the test vectors (10s of thousands for each of us).

This will nuke both his KPI results and kill his inbox. Could happen to a nicer bloke.

Edit: He just called my cell. He was surprisingly good natured about it! He just basically said he got the point and “that was pretty clever”. Then he asked some more project related stuff.

Sorry that the outcome didn’t have more fireworks, but I don’t think we’ll be doing tons of checkins anymore! Victory!

Check out the comments to see what folks are saying.

A lot of people were delighted to see a happy, peaceful ending.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

So classy! These are the best people to work with.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Everybody wins! I love that.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

I agree. It’s like a sitcom ending. Wrapped up in a tidy package.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Haha it was nice to see some engineer solidarity.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Sometimes it pays to deal with things calmly and rationally.

If you liked this post, you might want to read this story about a teacher who taught the school’s administration a lesson after they made a sick kid take a final exam.