Friday, September 30, 2011

Bring me a rock

"Bring me a rock" is an exercise in which a manager or client asks an analyst for a particular piece of work. The analyst runs off and does the work. The conversation looks like this:
  • Mgr: "Bring me a rock."
  • Analyst: Finds a rock and shows manager the rock.
  • Mgr: "Not this rock. I need a different rock."
  • Analyst: Finds another rocks and shows it to the manager.
  • Mgr: "No, this isn't the right rock either. Bring me another rock."
...and so on. This can end in any number of ways, but it usually doesn't end well unless the analyst is able to get the manager to explain his goals for acquiring and using the rock. I've written about one version of this pattern before, and called it generate me some alternatives.

I'm going through a bring-me-a-rock exercise right now that includes a strong element of the value-add demotivation technique. It's interesting, and it really helps to have models of these scenarios to help understand what's going on under the surface.

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