Ideas for Consideration (2014-07-18)

Here are some topics, in no particular order, that MFCF's new management might want to consider. It also includes some questions, but I don't want or expect to receive any answers myself.

(Some might warn me about burning bridges before I leave, but I strongly suspect I would have sent this even if I weren't leaving. Either way, Wayne has already burned my bridges for me, so it doesn't really matter.)

RT#95181 - Clean up Wayne's RT items.
This item still hasn't been assigned to anyone. (Nor has the parent RT#94827.)
Perhaps Marek could take that item, review Wayne's listed items, and for each, do one of:
Some projects have been worked on by small groups or individuals without details being made known to the rest of the department.
Even some projects that do have associated RT items have very vague descriptions, making it difficult for anyone else to know what is happening.
Off-the-books projects don't seem like a good idea.
Secrecy and lack of peer review can be counter-productive. (E.g. I myself was removed from leading a project that I didn't know existed. I didn't find out about it until my Merit Review a year later.)
Encouraging exclusive groups within the department is not good for morale.
Will this policy continue?
Each item of Drupal documentation is owned by a specific staff member.
Other staff are not allowed to edit other people's files.
This is totally opposite to the standard Drupal philosophy.
Will this policy continue?
Due dates for RT items.
The number of overdue RT items has dropped dramatically recently.
Does this mean that we are finally going to get more management review of what we are working on?
For the last few years, MFCF has operated with a Director assuming the duties of our missing manager(s), with some responsibility allocated to Jim and Robyn.
As far as I know, these extra responsibilities did not result in an increase in their USG level. If that isn't enough to deserve the MFCF career path increase, what does it take? I'm still surprised that HR etc. allowed such an arrangement to continue for so long.
MFCF has long needed some real management. We should either hire some, or officially promote Jim and Robyn, hire their replacements, and free up time from their non-management duties so that they can actually do it.
HR is moving toward defining jobs in terms of responsibility rather than specific tasks or capabilities. Knowing who is responsible for what not only makes life easier for everyone, it even makes year-end Merit Reviews much more objective (How well did the things one is responsible for go?). MFCF has been moving in the opposite direction.
Even management itself didn't want to accept responsibility for managing. (E.g. the previous Director didn't want to be notified of any overdue RT items belonging to the people he directly supervised.)
Generally the answer to Who is responsible for …? was answered by We all are., which in reality means that no one is.
We see the effects of this with such things as the increasing number of problems with the data in our databases (e.g. Inventory). Many of these problems can be detected by software, and are reported by daily e-mail. But now almost no one does anything about it, and the number of reported discrepancies has gone up by more than a factor of ten since we all became responsible for the data.
A few years ago many MFCF staff took a Myers-Briggs personality test. (Though I'd recommend the True Colors test as being much more understandable and memorable for non-psychologists.) The results were hardly surprising, but even though some people's results showed they were unsuitable for their positions, nothing changed within the department (some have quit since then).
The significant aspect is understanding how each personality type sees the world and how they can best work together. Taking this factor into account when setting up a team project is essential. No one basic personality type is intrinsically good or bad, but combining the four complementary types can produce a highly productive team. Our Management has seemed oblivious to this concept.
Even worse, recent annual Merit Reviews appear to have been based more on personality than on performance, with staff whose personalities get along with Management's (Uriah Heep) being rewarded, and those whose don't (Jeremiah) being punished.
Management seemed to be unaware that when there is a personality conflict, it's often due to misunderstanding on both sides, not only on the side that conflicts with the current management's personality.
Software Plans.
Last summer, Wayne said that by this summer MFCF would:
I don't think anyone but I was willing to point out how unrealistic those goals were, and for that (and other similar unsupportive and negative behaviour) I have been made to suffer (but not regret).
The last item has nearly been achieved.
The others are nowhere near reality.
Will MFCF policy continue to support these delusions?
Unfriendly signs.
These signs recently appeared on the doors at the end of our hallway.
They aren't serving their intended purpose very well.
Do we still want them?
Can we leave the MFCF and remove the other two words?
I am the last remaining member of MFCF whose primary job was designing and writing software.
People still often ask me for quick ad hoc scripts or web pages, or for something to gather and format specific data.
Who in the department is still capable of doing such things?