One Flew Over The Coup Coup's Nest

With the world focused on the recent and evolving events in the Soviet Union, it comes as no surprise that developments in other parts of the world have taken a back seat with the journalistic community. For those of you who haven't heard the complete story, let me begin by providing some background information on the U.S.S.R. situation.

Since the early 60's, the people of the TPF U.S.S.R (Unappreciated Software Solution Retro-fitters) have lived under the heels of tyranny and oppression. Without any choice but to follow the instructions of those in power, project after project has been misdirected, overpriced, under-budgeted, and horribly mismanaged. The results can be seen almost anywhere, but nowhere are the results more evident than in the region of Newshops. ACP/TPF Today sent a team of investigative reporters into the volatile Newshops area recently, and the following story was transmitted out of the country without interruption by the dreaded SVC.

Dateline: Newshops
When our reporters reached the outskirts of Newshops, they were met by thousands of TPF analysts and developers all making their way to the capitol city of Conversion. The sights and sounds of dissent were everywhere. Trainees and Operators marched shoulder-to-shoulder, chanting "IPL, IPL, IPL,". One man told me he'd "had enough of dealing with Managers that didn't know the first thing about TPF". A group of C/370 programmers were carrying stacks of greenbar listings to throw upon the barricades. One woman, a Coverage programmer, laughed about the millions of dollars wasted on poor design. "They sat in their big offices and promised us functionality. When we asked to participate in the analysis and the design of the system, they ignored the cries of the people. They end up with the bonuses, and all we get are dumps! It's time for a change!"

As the waves of TPF technicians flow into Conversion, it becomes quite evident that the days of the current leadership are numbered. Unless there are changes in the approach taken by the business leaders of today's major corporations, the industry and its people will certainly suffer. Left with little choice, the desires for freedom (of thought) and independence (from ill-advise) will become realities. What is necessary today is not so much leading-edge technology, but leading-edge management.

If in fact TPF is the best way to clear the hurdles facing the transaction processing world, then those companies that elect to utilize TPF, and the people running those companies, had better accept the challenges associated with the product. What is most important in the "Newshops" of this world, is a willingness on the part of management to listen to their technicians. After all, these are the people with the skills and experience to get the job done.

There are three basic ideas management should subscribe to:

There are lessons to be learned from the Soviet experience. The collapse of a project, much like the collapse of a political system, involves the entire organizational tree, in that the effects are felt at the highest branches as well as the deepest roots. You know, TPF has had its share of failures, and taken its share of criticism from people condemning its "twenty year old technology". I'd like to pose the question to you. Did the Soviet project fail because of the "technology" being used, or because it just wasn't managed well? Interesting thought, isn't it Comrade?

Alan Sadowsky