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Make More, Know Less

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Sanjib.A
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Awesome !!
Sanjib.A   12/30/2013 11:19:06 AM
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This is great!! You have proved it! :)

Infact, quite sometime back my ex-boss used say this: "Do not word hard....but work smart".

 

AZskibum
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Re: Awesome !!
AZskibum   1/2/2014 12:20:54 PM
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I believe these equations were first derived by Scott Adams as part of the Dilbert Principle, which says essentially that companies promote less knowledgeable people to a position where they can do the least amount of damage -- management :)

mhrackin
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Re: Awesome !!
mhrackin   1/3/2014 11:16:31 AM
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The first explanation was the book "The Peter Principle."  Basic truth: you get promoted by being comptetent; once you reach your level of incompetence you cease advancing.

Bruce Swanson
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Very well done! Now about email...
Bruce Swanson   12/30/2013 6:16:27 PM
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This is very clever and intriguing.  Do you have any equations that show how too much email (from miss-used reply-all and others) affects Work?  I know for me, the amount of email to wade through can decrease time for productive work.

Bert22306
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CEO
Who says the "boss" makes more?
Bert22306   12/30/2013 7:01:19 PM
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Well done.

The truth is, however, at least where I work, that the manager (aka "boss") does not necessarily make any more than the engineers. Or at least, not more than the more senior engineers in his group. And not only that, but it's very obvious why he becomes the so-called "boss." It is because his value at what he was doing before reached a plateau, and a manager was needed because the previous one retired.

Honestly. I'm not making this up. It happens time and time again. This is the norm, not the exception.

Now, why this person, who became the manager, suddenly finds it imperative to "play manager," by throwing his weight around when he was previously a sensible co-worker, is indeed a matter for further study. Possibly, it's because he perceives that his superiors expect this? That's my wife's explanation, at any rate. Possibly, because he expects his engineers to slack off if they aren't whipped into a frenzy, because that's what he would have done in their shoes?

I don't know. It's also possible that different engineers respond differently to requests from a manager. It's possible some engineers really do need a kick in the pants to keep at it. Me, I'm ever so grateful for the manager I currently have. The best ever.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Who says the "boss" makes more?
MeasurementBlues   12/30/2013 9:54:06 PM
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>why this person, who became the manager, suddenly finds it imperative to "play manager,"

There could be many reasons. For one thing the manager suddenly is responsible for budgets and schedules and is therefor under more scrutiny.

Another reason is that as a manager, you now spend time wth people higher up rather than with your peers. It's justa different mentality.

In some companies, management is perceived as the enemy and you are not the enemy. In other words, the manager is no longer "one of us."

 

Bert22306
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Re: Who says the "boss" makes more?
Bert22306   12/30/2013 10:28:01 PM
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"There could be many reasons. For one thing the manager suddenly is responsible for budgets and schedules and is therefor under more scrutiny."

In some hypothetical case, I suppose. In our specific case, we are responsible for our own schedules. We deal directly with the customers' management, so we are well aware of the schedules we have to meet and our budget. Our immediate manager, within the corporate structure, is not really the one that figures out how the work has to be done, nor do any of us expect that of him. Which is why I chuckle when the corporate execs ask whether our manager "shows us the way." What a bizarre view of engineering reality. That job belongs either to the senior or lead engineer in a group, or to ourselves as the senior or lead engineers.

You're probably right about "is under more scutiny," but I think this has more to do with his superiors' expectations about "what a manager should do," than to actually help engineers get the job done more effectively. That's why I called it "playing manager."

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Who says the "boss" makes more?
MeasurementBlues   12/30/2013 9:54:26 PM
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When I worked on the factory floor in a PCB shop, anyone who wore a tie (1970s) was considered a "boss" by the people in the floor. that applied to engineers who might not have anyone reporting to them. Bosses were to be avoided.

resistion
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CEO
Common knowledge
resistion   12/30/2013 9:26:56 PM
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With the internet and electronic communication prevalent today, a lot of knowledge can be shared easily. With a more common denominator at least within a group, perhaps you'll get the more desired proportionality of money and work.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Common knowledge
MeasurementBlues   12/30/2013 9:32:25 PM
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@resiston,

Would that ratio be less work, more money. I'm sure that like many of us, you make less per hour than you once did, not because of a pay cut (but maybe), but from more hours worked,

resistion
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Re: Common knowledge
resistion   12/30/2013 9:40:49 PM
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The work gets harder quite fast for the same or comparable hourly rate.

prabhakar_deosthali
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Re:
prabhakar_deosthali   12/31/2013 8:41:28 AM
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In my opinion, the "Boss" makes more in terms of the total sum , but if you calculate his hourly rate, it will be much less than that of his subordinates

That is because the "boss" has to carry the burden of the project or department almost 24x7. He can be hauled for a meeting on weekends, in the middle of the night and such odd hours by the top executives just to satisfy their queries , has to constant keep on updating on the progress of each of his subordinates and hide all inefficiencies of his team while making presentations to the top bosses.

For what burden he carries , he gets only a pittance in my opinion.

RichQ
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CEO
Causality question
RichQ   12/31/2013 3:45:01 PM
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Your math seems right but not sure the causality is correct. Is it that the boss gets paid more because he knows less, or is the causality the other way around?

Money = Work/Knowledge

can also be interpreted as meaning "it costs more to do the job when the work is done by someone who knows less." If this is the case, then it implies that the one who makes the more money is one who knows more. The knowledgeable person gets the work done for lower cost. That makes that person more valuable, hence you can increase their salary and still end up costing less than employing an unknowledgeable person. So you end up saving money by paying the knowledgeable person more, a good business practice.

However, your explanation is more emotionally satisfying.

sa_penguin
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Manager
Re: Causality question
sa_penguin   12/31/2013 9:01:57 PM
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Actually, I used:

Work = Money * Knowledge

When a company tries to limit pay rises, money approaches a constant - and the amount of work done becomes proportional to the knowledge of the worker.

A promoted worker starts a new role with reduced knowledge level, but  generally more money. The potential loss of work can be avoided by hiring a new person, rather than promoting from within.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Causality question
MeasurementBlues   1/1/2014 12:33:08 AM
RichQ, Does that mean in you get a raise, you theremore know less than you did before the raise?

RichQ
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Re: Causality question
RichQ   1/2/2014 12:22:00 PM
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The Murphey's Law of Employee Compensation says that the independent variable in the Work/Knowledge/Money equation that will change as a result of adjusting one of the other two is the one of least benefit to the employee. As Sgt Schultz previously has demonstrated, knowing nothing is the safest course of action. Therefore, knowing less as a result of getting a raise would serve to increase the employee's safety. By Murphey's Law, therefore, this will not be the result of raising compensation. QED, the work must increase, instead.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Causality question
MeasurementBlues   1/2/2014 12:26:55 PM
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"Therefore, knowing less as a result of getting a raise would serve to increase the employee's safety."

This would seem to imply that if you don't get a raise, you know more and if you get a raise, you must know less.

What's a raise, anyway?

resistion
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No upper limit on work
resistion   12/31/2013 9:53:19 PM
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While knowledge and money can be limited, not so for the work that needs to be done. So the equation won't hold, eventually.

Fanny0
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Love it!
Fanny0   1/1/2014 10:01:00 AM
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Martin, very clever!  Sometimes we are too smart for our own good and the formula fits beautifully. 

resistion
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Experience
resistion   1/1/2014 10:31:26 AM
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I don't know if your definition of knowledge includes experience. More experience should be associated with more money, in the pay grades.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Experience
MeasurementBlues   1/1/2014 11:48:14 AM
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@resiston,

Your theory works until you make too much, then the let you go and replace you with someone of less experience who wil work for less money but work more hours because of no family commitments. In someone eyes, they can make up for lack of experience by working more.

"More experience should be associated with more money"

resistion
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Re: Experience
resistion   1/2/2014 7:29:12 PM
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I also am a fan of the Dilbert comic strip since years before entering the industry. I think the ignorant management would have this to say about new hires. First, they would incur large training costs. The more to train to "catch up", the larger the cost. Second, if they are working longer to achieve the same, they are draining other resources, at least indirectly through the necessarily longer interaction with colleagues for their ongoing training. Actually, in reality, these new hires would be expected to eventually reduce their work time for the same tasks.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Experience
MeasurementBlues   1/2/2014 9:18:22 PM
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"draining other resources"

Also known as "opportunity cost," a concept that seems lost these days. Today, it's assumed you'll do both and the opportunity cost is nil.

Ramamoorthy
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Rookie
Liked the last equality
Ramamoorthy   1/3/2014 12:28:12 AM
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Have heard about why managers earn more long time back, but rearranging to explain what is working smart was very nice.

cookiejar
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Manager
MBA mantra
cookiejar   1/4/2014 2:12:50 PM
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The Harvard School of Economics has been credited with inventing the MBA with its mantra, "You do not have to know what you are managing, you only have to know how to manage."  The point was to assassinate the idea that the best CEOs were those that worked their way up from mail room to the top, having done every job along the way and knowing the company's business inside out. 

 The Harvard School of Economics was out to conquer the business work with their MBA graduates and inadvertently destroy the U.S. economy by decimating its manufacturing and financial sectors, putting all the emphasis on the monthly bottom line. 

The acceptance of this logic defying principle by the business community proves how effective mass brain-washing can be. To work your way up to top management these days you need your MBA and accept its brain-washing principles.

Back in the early '80s, EE Times together with the Wall Street Journal did a survey of CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies, asking them what their first degree was in  (they all had MBAs).  To their surprise, 85% said engineering.  The other surprising thing was that those led by non-engineering CEOs were no longer on the Fortune 500 list three years down the road.  It's obvious, that a CEO with no knowledge of the business will be at the mercy of chance as to who to believe on his staff.  He will also not be in the position to lead his company in the field, as he will be effectively blind.  Engineering training is the best for a CEO as he will be well grounded in the principles of what is physically possible to achieve.

Someone who has worked his way up in the company will also save the company much time and effort in lame brained re-organization.  Any manager parachuted into a position will no doubt be ignorant of how his new unit functions, and fearful of exposing his ignorance.  What better way to find out how things work than starting a major re-organization expounding his brilliant management principles and of course highly influenced by the astute politicians in his group.  Fortunately, just like worker ants, the workers will get the necessary work done to save the organization, despite the organizational hurdles placed before them.

Many a manager farming out his company's work is admitting that he is incapable of efficiently managing his workers.

One thing the MBA has effectively taught managers is how to maximize their incomes, and minimize those of their workers.

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