State of the Microsoft

Copio e incollo, perché credo di non aver fin qui trovato parole più chiare, semplici e azzeccate per descrivere lo stato comatoso in cui (purtroppo, mi dispiace veramente) giace Microsoft.

“MJF: What are your reasons for leaving Microsoft?

HV: (Reasons) aplenty. First, it never felt they were making good use of my skills and potential. Instead, I had to develop skills to traverse a sea of politics. It’s a very inefficient company, with very little or nothing being done to make it better. MS has small windows of actual product development (new code being written) followed by long period of stabilization. It’s waterfall as its best. For PMs, like me, some manager pushes idiot time consuming exercises like scenario validation.. two months to produce collateral that is bound to be useless in six months, since everything is likely to change.

Secondly, the “toxic environment” and its impact on MS’ products. Since MS has a performance review system that values “individual” contributions over team work, everybody want to make impact on everything. Another way to read it is that everybody wants to voice opinions and suggestions and drive them to execution, which commonly lead to mutually exclusive ideas, and you, as a PM, will have to figure out a way to make everyone happy if you want to make progress. That leads to dysfunctional products. As a matter of fact, I remember the template I *had* to use to set my commitments/deliverables had something like “you go to spec review meetings and make valuable comments”

One thing that really frustrated me was that those random suggestions come from intuition, instead of actual scenarios/facts/data, and commonly show how disconnected MS employees are from the real world. In my case, as I worked in the developer division, it demonstrated how people there were disconnected from how developers work, and what they value. I had to constantly remind them that we should strive for simplicity since developers don’t have the time to become expert on our product, since it would be another tool in their toolbox.

Finally, there are the managers. I don’t know how much time people spend reading Mini Microsoft, and specially the comments there. It was actually therapeutic to me. Finding out that what was happening (via Mini) is quite common.”

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