March 30, 2009 - CONCLUDING COMMENTS ON "PRIDE"
CONCLUDING COMMENTS ON "PRIDE"
This podcast is Part XXXV of our series on the "PRIDE" Methodologies for IRM and represents the concluding chapter of the series. Over the last 34 weeks I have patiently taken you through all aspects of the methodologies; from concepts and philosophies, to the actual steps necessary to execute "PRIDE."
Obviously, a lot of thought has gone into the design and development of the methodologies over the years. Since the first parts of it were introduced in 1971, "PRIDE" has been challenged by our customers, competitors, and academia, This has forced us to refine the product in terms of clarifying the concepts and defining our terminology. After so much scrutiny, we believe it to be tried, proven, and intellectually honest. This is very important to us.
But "PRIDE's" comprehensiveness is also its weakness as people lack the broader vision to comprehend the scope of the product and its integration. Some people are only concerned with nothing more than the programming phases of "PRIDE"-ISEM, others are only involved with the physical design phases of "PRIDE"-DBEM, and others for Project Management, and others for Business Systems Planning, etc., etc. Those people in the industry who have the ability to visualize the comprehensiveness of "PRIDE" are few and far between. Consequently, "PRIDE" has always been way ahead of its time; perhaps too far.
As an example, years ago when we first introduced "PRIDE" in the early 1970's, people typically bought "PRIDE" for the wrong reasons; instead of its design and development concepts, they bought it primarily for Project Management purposes. This is analogous to installing a Production Control department in a manufacturing company without an Assembly Line. It is the Assembly Line that is more important, not Production Control. But here we are nearly 40 years lately, and the industry still believes it is a Project Management problem. Sad, very sad. This leads me to believe that the industry will never catch up with "PRIDE" and it will slowly be lost over time until another generation finally rediscovers it.
Another reason why people resist "PRIDE" is because it imposes discipline on developers through standards, something I.T. people stubbornly resist like a wild horse to a bit. I have always found this interesting. In the past, programmers have criticized us for our attitudes towards systems people. What they never realized was that we were actually their best friend in the sense that we emphasized the need for the vital upfront work needed to properly specify the development of software. In a pristine "PRIDE" development environment, programmers are the true beneficiaries of the methodologies. Instead of getting specs on the back of envelopes or cocktail napkins, "PRIDE" stressed the need for upfront analysis.
In the hands of strong management, we have seen "PRIDE" do wonderful things. For example, it was responsible for developing Japan's next generation of on-line banking systems, which, I might add had no problem whatsoever with the Y2K problem. It was also used by many Fortune 500 companies to engineer their core systems. But this was all a time when management could visualize the bigger picture.
Since we opened our kimono in 2004, thousands of people have visited our "PRIDE" site and reviewed the methodologies. Hopefully, this helped the industry and someone, somewhere along the line learned something. The message of "PRIDE" was simple, "Shapeth Up and Getheth Thine Act Together." All it tried to do was bring order out of chaos. Yet, we found there are many people in the industry who thrive on chaos and, as such, have made the systems world much more complicated than it needs to be. "PRIDE" may be a considerable body of work, but when you think about it, the lessons inculcated were simple, e.g.; "A system is a product that can be engineered and manufactured like any other product"; "The only ways systems communicate is through shared data"; "Information = Data + Processing"; etc.
This podcast represents our last for "Management Visions." In the future, we will be rerunning past episodes. In addition to "PRIDE", we have discussed a wide variety of management issues. We have appreciated all of your comments and questions over the years and we wish you the best. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.
Keep the faith!
OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is...
"There is only one problem with common sense; it's not very common."
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MY "PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK" IS "BRAINWASHING"
In the past you have heard me lament about the erosion of our moral values, and it is my contention that our religious institutions have dropped the ball on this one. Their message may be good, but it is not generally turned into practice anymore. I've seen way too many people go to church to absolve themselves of their sins for the past week, only to continue unethical business practices on Monday morning. I think this is because our places of worship tend to say the same tired things over and over again and, in the process, have lost the hearts and minds of their constituents. Our moral values are now shaped by the Media using brainwashing techniques which are somewhat subliminal, but very effective. The intent of brainwashing is not just to manipulate perspectives, but to also put things into action. Organized religion knows how to deliver the message, but fails to put it into practice.
Brainwashing is typically born from calamity, such as the loss of a war, or hard economic times. It is illustrated by Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 40's, the Korean War, and is still put to good effect in Third World dictatorships. It is omnipresent in the free world as well, maybe not as obvious as in the Third World, but it is definitely present in our culture nevertheless.
Brainwashing is intended to produce a desired result, and many believe the end justifies the use of such techniques. It has been my observation there are three basic building blocks for brainwashing:
1. Information management - meaning the control of the media outlets, what can and cannot be said to the public, and who can say it. As you may recall in Nazi Germany, no author or artist could be published or exhibited unless they were a member of the Third Reich and proved good behavior. Control of the media is essential as it is known that life imitates art, not the other way around. Whoever controls the media, controls information, and subsequently our culture.
2. Repetition of the message is essential for conditioned response as in the case of Pavolv's Dog. If you say something enough times, people tend to believe it, regardless if it is right or wrong. Such repetition must be relentless and tends to be long term in nature in order to penetrate the human psyche.
3. The message must capture the hearts and minds of the people. Here, basic human instincts are exploited, such as greed, status, social class, and patriotism. The message tends to be simple and filled with pathos as complicated messages tend to be lost on most people and there is a desire to draw on the passions of the public. Basically, you need to pander to the masses and tell them what they want to hear; e.g., "You are great; you are being abused and mistreated", etc. Again, the intent is not simply to comprehend the message, but to motivate people into action. Emotional extremes are particularly effective in this regard; e.g., Love of Country, Hate for its enemies. The message also becomes more credible through testimonials and endorsements by recognized celebrities and other seeming experts. In fact, the message must be well choreographed and glitzy to assure it becomes fashionable and popular. Technicians skilled in the arts are vital to make the message appealing to the masses. People must believe the message is the popular consensus of the masses, not just a handful of people, thereby minimizing resistance to it.
Behind all of this is a deep seeded contempt for the human spirit, that people are cattle and easily swayed. Using brainwashing techniques, lying and misleading people is perfectly acceptable as long as it ends with the desired results. Thereby truth and honesty are often sacrificed in the process.
The question now becomes, is our Media engaged in brainwashing and, if so, what are their objectives? I believe it is there to orchestrate and exploit the American middle class thereby simplifying the implementation of social and economic changes. Why the middle class? Simple, because it is the economic engine of the world.
From this perspective, the Media is more powerful than the politicians charged with governing us. Perhaps our officials are nothing more than caretakers and the Media is truly pulling the strings, or perhaps the two are in cahoots. Either way, it is disconcerting that a "Big Brother" is doing the thinking for us and in the process, quietly engineering our thoughts and values.
It is also very unsettling that we are the unwitting dupes in all of this.
Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.
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"BRYCE'S PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK"
Folks, a couple of years ago I started to include my "Pet Peeve of the Week" in these "Management Visions" podcasts. They have become so popular that I now syndicate them through the Internet and they are available for republication in other media. To this end, I have created a separate web page for my writings which you can find at phmainstreet.com Look for the section, "The Bryce is Right!" Hope you enjoy them.
Also, if you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, be sure to stop by and check out our new Palm Harbor Business OASIS, a new business venue offering local business people a place to meet, work, network, and relax. Why pay a lot for leasing office space when you can become a member of the OASIS for as little as $100/month? For more information, visit our web site at: http://www.phboasis.com/
I received the following e-mail regarding my Pet Peeve on "Count Your Blessings":
A D.T. in Raleigh, North Carolina wrote...
"Well said! Tough times are survived by tough people, but STRONG people help others through their trials as well. Courage is not absence of fear, but acting DESPITE the fear. Pain and discomfort are relative to our expectations and standards."
A C.G. in Mason, Ohio wrote...
"Tim, what a great essay! It is very timely for me and I am certain it will be for many others. I just hope the people who need this now have a chance to read this."
I received the following e-mail regarding my Pet Peeve on "Job Interviews":
An M.B. of Clearwater, Florida wrote...
"I once competed against 34 people with Masters Degrees in Social Work, having only a BA myself, for the exact job I'd always wanted. I had more course work in the specialty needed for this job than most of those with the higher degree. Finally, it was down to just two of us for the final interview, when the Board of Directors, which was doing the interviews, asked the fatal question. It was an illegal question too, but I knew I was damned if I didn't answer it by claiming it to be illegal, and damned if I did answer, because I knew the supposed psychological reasons behind the question. I answered truthfully, and knew immediately by the looks on their faces that I'd lost the job. The question: 'Are you an only child?' I agree, if they are going to pull this kind of stuff, they should just have all applicants take the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory first, and sift out the personality types that are considered unfit for the job in question before they interview."
Again, thanks for your comments. For these and other comments, please visit my "Bryce is Right!" web site.
Keep those cards and letters coming.
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This is Tim Bryce reporting.
Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."