04 January 2008

No Complaints

I received the card above in the mail when I got back from my holiday break, and I love it because it so beautifully illustrates IT management at its worst. Would you complain to this guy? No, because he'd either bite your head off or shrug and close his door.

In my experience, "no complaints" means "everyone's given up". When you bring an IT organization back from the dead, you start getting lots more complaints, because you raise hopes that something can be done.

Here's the text on the reverse side of the card: "I'm the CIO. I like things that work well and do exactly what they are supposed to do.... Everything is up. Everything is working together. Everyone is on the same calendar. And, most importantly, nobody is complaining."

Those aren't bad things and this isn't a bad product. But the focus is all wrong. The only way to get everyone on the same anything is via coercion. The only way to get no complaints is to ignore them. Coercion is an admission of failure.

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