Re: Re: Org Charts & White Space

Eric Bohlman (
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 14:00:49 -0800 (PST)

> Yesterday, Mark Tabladillo wrote:
> > .............. Also, org charts only measure the *formal* relationships,
> > which defy what happens in the break room or on the golf course.
> Organization charts also generally defy (and deny) what *really* happens in
> the workplace to get the job done!
> Paul


The main purpose of an organization chart is to specify who has the
authority to fire whom.


A highly recommended reading, even for people who wouldn't touch software
development with a ten-foot pole, is *The Psychology of Computer
Programming* by Gerald Weinberg (1971, Litton). About two thirds of the
book is about the social organization of programming (the rest is about
individual psychological factors); much of this is applicable to any
organization that exists to perform a task.

Each chapter concludes with one set of questions for managers and one for
programmers. One of the manager questions at the end of the chapter "The
Programming Group" is: "Do you have an organization chart showing the
organization below you and around you? Try taking a copy of this chart
and marking--with wiggly lines--interactions that occur in your
organization. Do the wiggly lines match the straight lines? If so, get
out from behind your desk and find out what is really happening out there."

This book also contains Weinberg's now famous description of an art
colony as a place where everybody knows how to look like an artist, but
few, if any, know how to paint like one.