Let's build pyramids!

Let's build pyramids!

Building pyramids: a daunting enterprise, made by a huge number of people towards... one goal, really? This is a story about human relationships: let's be serious, there isn't a single goal or a single direction here. Everyone is trying to get his share. But that's OK!

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Sylvain Abélard

October 07, 2014
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  1. Let's build pyramids ‣ @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr / @parisrb Hi

    everyone, let's build pyramids together! Pyramids are a huge work and some software projects too.
  2. Leader / boss You might have seen this boss/leader picture

    and that got me thinking.
  3. Some people added their workplace experience in the chart.

  4. Some smartasses made their own addition too.

  5. Perspective It's all a matter of perspective so I figured

    I'd add mine too.
  6. Perspective Obi-wan Kenobi said many things depend on the point

    of view.
  7. Perspective = All of these shapes represent projections of the

    same object, same reality.
  8. Plan So let's change perspective and see a pyramid-building plan

    from the top.
  9. You Where are the bosses and leaders? Let's assume you

    have a general direction and you want to help.
  10. Team - a bit off You can't do everything by

    yourself and you're assigned a team, which may be a bit off. Your job is then to correct that offset.
  11. Leader - retargets You can lead by example or blame

    "like a boss". The path is longer but hopefully there's not too much waste of energy.
  12. Bosses - own pyramids So what actually happens in our

    Giza is that other bosses (the bad kind) just want their pyramids done. You want all three so... OK?
  13. Other teams - mastabas Other teams build support structures: tombs,

    works of art, or workers' villages since the effort is to be made in the (very) long run.
  14. Other bosses - elsewhere The problem is, in such a

    big org there are other leaders that want to build the Sphinx (quite related to Giza), Alexandria (OK~ish?) and Karnak (WTF it's 600+km away!).
  15. Consultants Like big corps do, each boss hires a bunch

    of consultants. Some work on pyramids 1,2,3, the Sphinx, and I don't really get why but one is going in the mountains?
  16. Other consultants Consultants get bonuses when they get others hired*.

    That helps pyramid 1 & 2 but at #3 they're spending A LOT of energy going AGAINST the plan. * if you don't you're getting ripped off
  17. Other consultants The Sphinx gets some nice help, and the

    guy in the mountains needed to hire more and more mountain experts. I still don't get why, honestly.
  18. Alliances It's not necessarily a bad thing. You can use

    this energy for good by making alliances: a general plan emerges, somewhat fitting enough with the original plan.
  19. Other alliances Locally, other alliances emerge. You still get the

    3 pyramids, and for some added cost, a Sphinx. The guys in the mountains are certainly up to something?
  20. WHAT A MESS! OK. Now's a nice time to stop.

    Step back. Breathe. Can you even read the schema with all the arrows we added?
  21. Can you even read it? You can only make sense

    of it if you know what came before. Imagine being dropped today in such a mess, that took years to re-arrange itself. Illegible.
  22. Unproductive? I think that's why many young rubyists hate big

    corps. You may feel this is unproductive, and some people or teams are, but I prefer "not as efficient as possible".
  23. Antiproductive? You may feel some people do "negative work" and

    you have to clean up. That's true, but that's probably not as f*cked up as you imagine it to be at a first glance.
  24. Partial, local view where nuances are lost Also remember this

    map was laid for you: whatever time you spent or position you're at, you only get a local view... or a sky-high big picture with blurred details.
  25. Partial control Also whatever you see and understand, you only

    have partial control on what happens. Phew... harsh, or liberating?
  26. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr HumanTalks 2013-11-12 Let's stop again. Step back.

    Breathe. Listen to the Happiest Man in The World: "don't worry, be happy" :)
  27. Perspective ! ? It's probably just a matter of perspective.

    Don't be sad, angry or doubtful. Communication and empathy will help everyone reach some level of understanding.
  28. Perspective = = Be kind, patient and don't think people

    are stupid.* They're probably right within their little frame of the picture. * first don't tell them. Then don't think it
  29. Not so bad It's not so bad. Final plan mostly

    looks like the original. Big bosses are OK, we even added a Sphinx!
  30. Close to home Some people here are just happy with

    a job that's close to home. That's why some "mountain people" perhaps knew their project was useless but kept their mouth shut. Convenience, not stupidity.
  31. Better food / location Some other people there are fine

    with whatever job they can get. As long as the offices or the food are nice.
  32. Your pay / your craft And some other just need

    the money. Don't hate them for it, they have kids to feed. Perhaps find comforting in honing your craft for the next job?
  33. More consultants ;) And consultants, happy because they called in

    more consultants ;) If they were first on the job they're now managers. Or they took their kids on vacation with the bonus. Fine.
  34. Perhaps YOU were wrong? Lastly, before ranting or hating anyone,

    be humble and remember YOU could be one of the guys who got the projects all wrong!
  35. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr HumanTalks 2013-11-12 Stop again. Step back. Breathe.

    What can we do about that?
  36. Obvious friends All of these guys need a cheap, fast,

    reliable access to limestone blocks. You can set up a project with them.
  37. Less obvious friends They can teach you things: either their

    craft, or to make sense of this map. They might want to join your team (esp. if theirs is going nowhere).
  38. Non-obvious friends Perhaps they have a different metric for success.

    Find out which one and which boss can change it. If someone's paid to change things, things will change, even for worse.
  39. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr HumanTalks 2013-11-12 Love, respect, modesty compassion, forgiveness

    So let's call in Matthieu Ricard again: love people, respect them, be humble, compassionate and forgiving. Your life will be better for it!
  40. You're building pyramids! Building pyramids! And hey: we're building pyramids!

    Be proud to be a part in that huge project that change people's life and hopefully stands and fascinate for millenia! (*cough "COBOL" cough*)
  41. You're building pyramids! Questions? Manuel de survie en entreprise http://vimeo.com/72344243

    Simon Guimezanes @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr If you understand french you should watch Simon Guimezanes' video about surviving corporate politics. Rubyists are often lone wolves, and somehow haters/ranters. Join real life, understand people.